“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” Henry James
When I was little, I used to love visiting my grandfather in Pennsylvania. I would play with the two teddy bears that lived on his bedroom chair that kept my place when I was not there. He would take me down to the shuffle board court for a game and then rough house with me in the pool, without a care about the other “retirees” who looks indicated we were too loud and rowdy. There were always the smooth little mints, pink, green and yellow, topped with tiny white dots, piled into the crystal candy dish and I always assumed they were put there for me.
Perhaps this is the view from the eyes of an only grandchild. But I believe that partly, this is the view from the eyes of a child. The world belonged to me and I belonged to my grandfather.
Eventually, when I was grown, I look back on those times and realize that life was much more intricate for the adults in my life than I noticed at the time. And although I know those things now, I still choose to relive the memories the way the five-year-old me lived them.
Last night, my grandfather passed away. And even though his life was long and full of wonderful things, death has a way of reminding you of the things you no longer have or of the way things once were. But what I know is that no matter what I feel at the moment, I can choose to see every moment in front of me as a blessing and work even harder to bring joy and kindness to the lives of others, knowing that those things might someday become someone else’s memories.
There’s a reason that people actively practice gratitude–it heals. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our own world, that we fail to see the little gems of good that exist despite our own discomfort or difficulties. Remember, when you can find the strength, be grateful in any circumstance. Maybe one day, when you really need it, someone also works to find grace in every situation, will bring peace to you too.