Yesterday on my way to my healing practice in San Rafael, California, I stopped at Whole Foods to gather some groceries for the day. When it came time to pay, I noticed the woman two customers ahead of me in a nervous dialogue with the cashier, because she apparently didn't have enough money to pay for her abundant pile of groceries. She was flustered, confused, embarrassed and apologetic.
The man behind her and directly in front of me (a stranger to us both) quickly jumped in and offered to pay for her groceries. The total was $100-and-something. For a moment she refused his offer, but his insistence was so radiant and kind, she finally agreed, blushing, stunned, grateful. The cashier himself also seemed totally confused, flushed, and happy about this unfolding.
When the man caught me smiling in amused appreciation at his generosity and the woman's overflowing gratitude, he said to me sweetly: "Oh come on, throw yours in here too," alluding to my small pile of groceries. I was caught off guard, thinking he must be kidding, and then when I realized he wasn't, I asked: "For real?"
He said, quietly: "I have so much more than enough. It brings me pleasure to bring ease to those who experience otherwise."
I thought of his words all day afterwards, noticing I felt so cared for by the simple confidence and kindness of his gesture and that which he extended to the woman in need in front of him.
It left me wondering: What would happen if all of us in our world who have "so much more than enough" (and we do, really, in so many ways!) could simply extend generosity with this kind of ease and joy, this quality of open surrender and trust? How would that change the very fabric of our human relations; the very pulse of the heart of our world??
No, not many of us currently relax in a field of financial wealth that would authentically inspire us to pay for everyone else's groceries. But what other forms of wealth do we enjoy? What other forms of abundance do we take for granted, that we might be able to spare some of, in the spirit of inter-connectedness, openness, trust, and basic human kindness?
What if we don't hold so tightly to that which we cherish, as though to let it out, let it be seen, shared, tasted by others, will be to lose it?
Do you have passion to share? Do you have a smile to share? Do you have light to shine? Do you have juicy joy to emanate? Sweetness to impart? Empathy to embody? What is it that you have "so much more than enough" of, that you might wish to allow that to overflow, even just a little bit, to the rest of us? Simply because you can!
Simply so as to enrich us, inspire us, buoy us, enlighten us, soothe us, heal us, relieve us, move us, delight us? Simply because in your letting it overflow, we too might be blessed and inspired to bring our gifts, our ease, our true beauty more fully out into life.
I think of this dear man who so humbly and boldly embodied this teaching for me yesterday, and feel so grateful for how he is walking through his life. Who knows what his actual situation is? Perhaps he has just decided that he has "so much more than enough" and so now that is his experience, his truth and his reality?
I thank him and his teaching. I take it deeply to heart. I have so much more than enough, indeed. What a gift, and sacred responsibility to notice this.