Valentine's Day is fast approaching.....you have only four days to buy that something special for your special someone. This someone could be a long-time love of your life, or perhaps someone you have fond feelings.....but I invite you to think a little further with me
Love and caring comes in many forms....someone down the street, a state away, further away....perhaps a country away...I have been lucky enough to have close friends around the world, and they will be in my thoughts, prayers, perhaps receive a card....but there are those who go a little further.
They express their love and caring for people they don't know....they take personal time to go to neighbors they don't know...I know of one special man who takes personal vacation to travel to countries where he is unknown, but for whom he sends his valentine to others who will never remember his name, but what he DID. He helps to provide that most physical basic need we all must have....clean potable water.
Grandmothers, newborns, and everyone benefits from his selfless need to make sure these people have what they need. If our direct neighbor was without water, would we not be the first to hook up a hose and unfurl it to their doorstep to help? He does the same, along with a group from his church, as they unfurl a hose from Alabama to Central America. I call this love in action....not just talking about a good idea, but getting on a plane to make it happen. He is a mild caring man, taking little personal credit, but he has impressed me enormously...as is right, as is as it should be.
This person's name is Dan Shaw, he is one of many installers of tile at The Robert F. Henry Tile Company here in Montgomery, AL. In reality, we are all Dan Shaws, with the same opportunity before us. We don't all have to hop a plane to perform a selfless act of love...it could be for some in our midst, that person we pass every day and never thank for the contribution they make to our lives, but who enrich us immeasurably.
As Valentine's Day approaches, be thinking of how to celebrate it to honor someone who shows unconditional love for his or her neighbor, whether they are someone we encounter every day, or perhaps never, as Dan does.
Again, a quote from the great poet and national treasure, Maya Angelou.
" I have learned that people will forget what you said,
People will forget what you did,
But people will never forget how you made them feel."
I think of a small child, who will never actually meet Dan, but as he or she takes a beaker full of clean, potable, disease-free water and refreshes their thirst, they will someday realize that someone like Dan, most probably unnamed and unknown and at that point forgotten, provided their most basic need and will be forever grateful...and hopefully be inspired, like Dan, to pass it forward, enriching our world-wide neighbors, one tiny, small drop at a time...making them feel refreshed, their soul nourished...a feeling they will never forget.
Again, as Maya said, "I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them FEEL."
I am deciding how to respond to Dan's utterly unselfish, kind and caring action, and how to apply it to my own life. I invite you to do the same as Valentine's Day fast approaches and do the same.
Join me, it makes us all better people, personally, individually, corporately, as we improve lives for those who have less than we do...as it should be.
My thanks to this remarkable fellow, Dan Shaw, who does this not for personal glory, but because he feels it is the right thing to do...I hope he doesn't mind me writing this, but every time I see him at Robert F. Henry Tile, picking up supplies for the day, I think about how he does the same a couple of times a year for those he doesn't know.. a selfless class act.
Again, we all have Dans in our lives....and if we are not able to perform acts on a large scale such as he does, we CAN do them on a smaller scale...and I would be interested to hear thoughts, suggestions, ideas of how to make this happen within your own lives.
Totally paraphrasing Maya Angelou at this point, 'How can we do those things in other lives that they will not remember what we said, nor what we did, but how we make them feel?'
Admiration, cheers, and accolades to my friend Dan for making me THINK. That doesn't happen a lot in our lives....and I will never forgot the way he has made me feel....one drop of clean, pure water at a time for someone he doesn't know, but clearly shows his compassion...again, one small drop of life at a time.
"I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them FEEL."
Dan's caring knows no boundaries...as it should be.