Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Finding one small thing you can do

My dad's last full-on mission in his life was to get someone to smile every day, preferably a service person or a stranger rather than his wife. It was a small mission but it brought him great pleasure and purpose. I recently took an online class from poet David Whyte and Brother David Steindl-Rast. There was a lot of good thinking in that class but one of the things that really impressed was Brother David's daily habit of picking up trash on his morning walk. "One small thing I can do," he says. Brother David turned 90 this week.

I've been thinking a lot about what my one small thing could be. I try to paint every day because I know that creating things of beauty helps balance out some of the violence in destruction in our world. I do my best to be kind to those I meet, especially animals, wild and domestic. I haven't thought of anything else except to follow in the footsteps of Brother David.

Four days a week, I walk in my neighborhood. There's always trash to pick up. Maybe that's my job. And of course, I can use the stretch of bending over.

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