“Without humility, there can be no humanity.” – John Buchan
There was a time in my life where I was in a bad situation and had to leave to save my sanity. I left with only my clothes, my laptop, and my scrapbooks to an empty and cold apartment. I remember sitting on the floor, thinking over the fear I had felt in the last few months, and wondering what was next in my life. As I pondered, I learned quickly that my sanity, my peace, and my life was much more important than “stuff,” even though in under a week’s time, I would have an apartment full of donated furniture, a bed to sleep in, and things we usually take for granted, like glass bowls and silverware. This was, indeed, one of the most humbling experiences of my life. However, the lessons and blessings of humility I would experience were only beginning.
As the Christmas season approached, stores were decorated and streets and homes around the neighborhood sparkled and shined with multi-colored lights. Thinking about the upcoming holiday in my new residence, I felt and heard a small voice urge me to ask for cookbooks (something I loved and had left behind). I felt funny even considering asking for anything after all that I had received recently, but I listened to my intuition that told me, “Don’t be proud; ask for some cookbooks; reach out; just do it.” I sat on this for a day or two and tried to dismiss the thought, but I could not. So, I decided to place an ad on Craig’s List asking if anyone had any cookbooks to give away. I received a response within a day from someone who I now call “my angel.” She offered me a few of her cookbooks. Elated but still feeling a bit apprehensive about accepting more gifts from strangers, I met her at a restaurant not far from where I lived to receive her selfless gift. It was a quick exchange. As she handed me a heavy bag, I couldn’t help but think, “There must be many cookbooks in here!” Back at my apartment, when I opened the bag, I was pleasantly surprised to discover not only five or six cookbooks, but also a candle, a movie coupon, and a note with a coffee mug that stated, “Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.” The note attached said something similar. As I read the note and the mug, tears came to my eyes. This complete stranger sent me something that I needed to hear at one of the most trying times of my life, something I didn’t expect. She did not know me from Adam, and yet, somehow knew to send a note of encouragement with her gift. Nothing like this had ever happened to me. As I sat in my apartment contemplating what just occurred, I could not help but thank God, who I believe was the still, small voice I had felt and heard. After pondering for a few moments, I decided I needed to thank this stranger and tell her a little about what I had been going through, so she would understand how precious, timely and pertinent her gift was. I found the email she sent and sent her a thank you reply. Weeks passed, Christmas came and went, and there was no reply. I was thankful, however, for the lesson to listen to my small voice and for her generosity.
After the dawn of the new year, I received an email response from her. We communicated via email for about a week and got to know each other. Then one day, to our amazement and delight, we discovered that we lived a stone’s throw from each other – she lived in the building south from mine in the SAME APARTMENT COMPLEX! WOW. She also had a son, was a single mom, and had a similar, difficult life change like I was experiencing! We became great friends from that moment forward, and she became a significant part of my new year. Life is just awesome sometimes!
To this day, she is still one of my best friends that I will cherish always no matter where we are or how much time lapses between meetings. She was my angel in a time of desperate need, and her selfless and very thoughtful act and approach was priceless! If only more people today would approach the world and its constituencies in the same fashion, what a beautiful place this planet would be! I am also thankful that I listened to my voice, did not head my pride, but humbled myself to ask when in need, and thus, was truly and remarkably blessed!
The lesson: heed your intuition, live humbly and express your need, and be blessed by true humanity. One person’s selfless idea and one person’s humility can change the world.