The coffee cup in my hand reminds me of my wonderful friend, Ray. The cup is black and covered with tiny, twinkling stars with an inscription that reads “Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.” While Ray is neither black nor covered with small, twinkling stars, I do know that he is always there, even when I don’t see him for a year at a time.
On Monday, good fortune blessed us with an opportunity to have lunch together, and conversation flowed as if it had been a minute since we last talked rather than a year. Because Ray and I have both been on this human journey for a while now, we periodically evaluate retirement as an option. I love what I do and always say, “I”M NEVER GOING TO RETIRE!” Ray, who also loves what he does, is now almost a year past the age he flagged as his signpost for retirement. When I questioned him about this, he replied, “You know, Sandy, I’ll have another birthday in three months, but I’m not going to retire. I’m not through helping people yet, and you’re not through helping people yet either.”
“I’m not through helping people yet. I’m not through helping people yet” kept echoing through my heart and soul.
At that exact moment, a customer of Ray’s walked up to the table to say hello because Ray’s customers often become Ray’s friends. They chatted for a moment and then set a time to discuss a project Ray was doing for her. I, belonging to that wonderful band of customers who have become Ray’s friends, said to the lady who walked up to the table, “Isn’t it a true gift to have Ray do work for you?” “Yes, it is”, she said with a gentle smile on her face. I then added, “Can you imagine what this world would be like if each person you hired to do a job for you did the same kind of quality work that Ray does…and with the smile and heart he includes free of charge?” With that same gentle smile on her face, she said, “it would be heaven.”
IT WOULD BE HEAVEN to live in a world where I worked and you worked not because it was a necessary evil but because “I’m not through helping people yet” and because you’re “not through helping people yet.” Here’s the miracle. You can be part of making this sad, old world heaven by choosing to do whatever you do because “I’m not through helping people yet.”
Could it be that simple? Yes, it could. It is exactly as simple as that. I have a choice, and I choose to be a part of the miracle. HOW ABOUT YOU?