Monday, April 26, 2010

Five Small Reminders for Grampa to Give

More than fifty years ago, a very patient cub scout leader taught us to remember to do a Good Turn Daily by carrying a little token in the left pocket and transferring it to the right pocket when the deed was done! It is by such small means that great things are brought to pass (D&C 64:33)

Over the years I've gotten out of the habit of carrying a little something around to remind me of a Christian duty to fellow men or women, until in High Priests Class yesterday. My friend Dana told us about a business associate of his who carries five dimes in his left pocket and does the cub scout transfer every time he does a good deed.

Some folks believe in practicing random acts of kindness. Others are just naturally "that way". Years ago Gramma Rosie asked about the unfamiliar practice of reporting charitable acts of kindness to the Relief Society. She asked,"What ever happened to not letting the right hand know what the left hand was doing?" Somewhere in the upper echelons must have asked a similar question and the Relief Society doesn't keep track of acts of service.

The five dimes puts the motivation in a personal place and leaves the execution up to you!

Grampas have lots of opportunities for good deeds. The five dimes help open eyes and ears to the possibilities for service. And what a great "skill" for a Grampa to teach a gramchild!

When a Great Grampa sees others through their eyes and anticipate their needs something wonderful happens. His heart opens and he lives to serve.

Neal A. Maxwell told about this process in a 1996 talk entitled "Brim with Joy" about this open hearted change: "We can end up being so provincial and so parochial. I love these lines from G. K. Chesterton, the brilliant Catholic writer:

'How much larger your life would be if [you] could become smaller in it. . . . You would begin to be interested in [others]. You would break out of this tiny . . . theatre in which your own little plot is always being played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky, in a street full of splendid strangers. [G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (Garden City, New York: Image Books, 1959), pp. 20­21]

The gospel tells us who those "splendid strangers" are. It gives us a sense not only of the immensity and the vastness of God's work, but also of the great personalness of His work as well."

Grampa is like the star thrower:

The Star Thrower Story by Joel Barker

There's a story I would like to share with you. It was inspired by the writing of Loren Eiseley. Eiseley was a very special person because he combined the best of two cultures. He was a scientist and a poet. And from those two perspectives he wrote insightfully and beautifully about the world and our role in it.

Once upon a time, there was a wise man, much like Eiseley himself, who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked, Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves. "It made a difference for that one!"

It is all about doing for the one! JRH

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