Have you ever heard a story that has altered your life forever? When I heard this parable, somehow, it not only changed my life but became the theme song of my life. There were five men who were running to catch a bus to get to work one morning. On their way they passed a blind man who was selling pencils. Just as they passed by, they noticed that the blind man unfortunately dropped all his pencils. So what did the five men do? They kept on running, all but one man. What did this man do? He stopped and bent down to pick up the pencils. As the friends looked back, they noticed him stopping to help. Frantically the four men shouted, “Come on, hurry, we do not have that kind of time. If you stop, you will miss the bus.” The fifth man motioned them to go on as he said, “It will be alright. I will just catch the next bus.” Without missing a beat, the kind man continued to pick up the pencils. The blind man inquired, “Can I ask you something? “Sure,” replied the man. Perplexed the blind man questioned, “Who are you?” Then the blind man added, “You are the kindest man I ever met. “ You see even though the man was blind he could see enough to detect the love in the kind man’s heart. Maybe this fifth man was the only one who had ever showed the blind man compassion. How many had run by him not even noticing his need?
Fresh in all our minds is the holocaust that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT. On December, 2012. This tragic incident will never be forgotten. It serves as a wake- up call to us all. What a lesson we can all learn from the entire unsung hero, who picked up more than the pencil. Their eyes were in clear vision on the innocent children, and not themselves. Teachers bravely protected them and tried to calm their fears. One teacher’s quick thinking found safety in a bathroom along with her classroom safely in her care. All miraculously had the self-control to be still, which saved their lives. How can you pick up the pencils in 2013?
I have a question for you? Who are you in this story? Are you the four men rushing to catch the bus? Are you the blind man in need of assistance? Or are you the man who stopped and noticed another human being with a cry for help? Sometimes it only takes five minutes to stop and pick up the pencils in someone else life, or are you too busy to notice? Each of us has the same 24 hours in a day; how do you spend yours? Do you take the time to care or do you let life rush on by doing your thing
How about making 2013 the year to take five by:
1. Take five minutes a day to pause.
2. Write down five things you are thankful for daily.
3. Write down five ways you want to make a difference each day.
4. Write down five things you will do for yourself.
5. Take five minutes each night to pause again and learn from your day.
Instead of letting impatience grow when you seem to catch every red light, take five. Mentally go over your thankfulness list or plan something to do to make a difference. Your doctor is running behind on appointments, don’t take a downward dive, and instead take five. Always have a book and some note cards along in your purse and put them to good use or write you’re to do list. Look around and see who you can help? You hear the words, “Price check at register number seven,” and that is the line you are in. Don’t let it ruin your day, or change lanes, take five, instead. Bring along a good attitude to the scene, it is contagious. Who can you help with a kind word or a listening ear?
You will be amazed how this small change in your life to TAKE FIVE can make a big difference. In 2013, stop and smell the rose and spread the aroma of joy in the beauty of nature. Purpose to take life a little slower, so that you are not rushing to catch the bus, and blindly trip over the pencils, dropped in your path. Enjoy the moment so you do not miss the view. Don’t sweat the small stuff; but embrace the challenge to grow in character. Make a positive resolution for the New Year, just take five. This philosophy may not only change your day but perhaps it will improve your vision too. By cultivating a thankful heart, you will eliminate any self-pity that may have found a home. Replace that with, “No Vacancy,” and chase the blues away. When you put on the glasses of compassion, you can see clearly the need in another’s life. Set out every day to accomplish something for someone. It is the lesson my mom taught me. What a difference that will make in your heart and the hearts of those lives you touch. Somehow reaching beyond our self, takes our focus off our problems and they seem to shrink in comparison to another’s needs. My dad, an artist taught me that, “Life is a canvas and you get to paint the picture.” How will the picture of your life look? Will it have a sun shining brightly or will you allow a rainstorm to color the canvas of your heart? TAKE FIVE each day and see what an artist you can become.