Monday, March 29, 2010

Pass İt On

Recently, İ came across a colleague at work who answered me quite frankly when I asked how she was doing. Normally, most of us say we are fine when we are really not. İt is understood that such questions are just social niceties and rituals rather than actual inquiries. After confiding in me with how she was hurting, she quickly apologized, perhaps remembering that the normal ritual is to suffer in silence rather than sharing her struggle. Her honesty impressed me and İ was moved to think of some way I could respond in kind. İ came across a book in my bookshelf that seemed like it might be hers now. As it turned out, after giving it to her and hearing that she had proceeded to read it three times, it seems my intuition was right. İ am continually reminded how the small gesture becomes a lever for larger goodness. Or İts opposite.
İ believe that taking to your own path affords you an inner strength that grows as you meet the various characters and situations that help you create the story of your life. İ can recall those that came to my aid and shared a bit of their strength with me when İ needed it.İn addition to being grateful to them, it seems to me that İ have an obligation to pass it on. Years ago, İ read an essay about a Japanese company who required its new hires to go into a village and go door to door asking to be of service. After being turned down over and over, these people discovered that they were grateful when someone actually took them up on their offer and let them rake their lawn or perform some other small task. This story struck me with the notion that if there is no receiver , there can be no giver and vice versa.İt is a symbiosis that İ see all around us. Along these lines, İ am rather fond of the notion that each of the drawings İ do has an owner out there and part of my work is getting that picture to them. İ have found quite a few of them and its a great feeling when İ find the person who a particular piece belongs to. One of my favorite memories of this is when one of my pieces,one of my absolute favorites, was stolen from the church office where it was hanging. İn closing, İ would love to hear from you about when somebody passed it on to you or when you passed it on to someone else.


  1. Thank you Tony! One of the best feelings in life is when you have done something or said something that encourages someone else or brings someone to a deeper understanding of something they've been struggling with - and you don't even realize it until much later when they come to you and say - "It really meant a lot to me when..."

    I have been the receiver of many blessings from others - kindnesses that may not seem like much to some, but they came at times when they meant the world to me. It IS important to remember these things and try to "pass it on."

  2. So true! One of most basic kindnesses you can extend and still the most powerful is the message is that you made a difference in my life. Even still, a bit tragic when İ think of how isolated such basic kindnesses reveal our lives to be.