“It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according what he is, not according to what he has.”
~Henry Ward Beecher
I work with one of the richest people in the world. And she works right here in Rochester, NY! Last week, while I was in the presence of my coworker, she stated to her supervisor that she would like to take Monday (today) afternoon off. You see, she has a friend who has terminal cancer. This friend of her is young (in her early 40’s) and has young children. So, my colleague wants to take time off to help bathe her friend. Who does that?
My colleague does. This most generous gesture tells me so much about who she is, without her uttering one word about her own life. I believe that this selfless and very humbling act of kindness and love comes from deep within. It comes from a place of love and generosity. My suspicion is that my colleague has been the recipient of such love and generosity in her own life. And in those moments when she has received such love, gratitude wells up in her. It is a gratitude that not only recognizes what has been given to her, but also a gratitude that inspires her to share it with others. To me, my coworker is the richest woman I know today because she has a heart that is filled with the richest of riches - love, gratitude and generosity. Her life is abundant and she is living through that abundance. A great reminder to me to extend myself to others in generosity and love.
For my coworker and for her friend, I can only imagine how transformative this experience will be today. It is not about water and soap. It is so much more than that. It is about hearts and souls. It is about care and compassion. It is about love. It is about my coworker giving of herself so that her friend may experience generosity and love even in the midst of pain and illness. My hope is that my coworker’s presence continues to be a healing balm for her friend. My sense is she will be. After all, she is already bathing me in her abundant presence of healing in my life.
This experience calls us to reflect on how our lives have been blessed with those loving spirits who have touched our lives with their generous hearts. How might you and I today make our world a little bit better through our gratitude and generosity? If we are to open our eyes and look around, who might be in need of our generous hearts and spirits? If we want to be rich today, this might be the path to such abundance.