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An old lady and her groceries

I get excited when I see an old lady struggle with her groceries. I finally understand why. 

A group of foreign journalists were travelling with the Dalai Lama as he visited poverty-stricken village after village.

In every village the locals would come out and present the Dalai Lama with gifts: a handful of rice, an old book – whatever they had.

One of the journalists became angrier and angrier as he saw people who had practically nothing gifting what little they had and the Dalai Lama graciously accepting every offering.

In the final village of the tour, an old lady who lived under a tree was in tears because she had nothing to give the Dalai Lama except the clothes she was wearing. Then she started digging furiously at the foot of the tree and carefully unearthed an old, fraying, dirt-ridden dress; her wedding dress from many years ago.

With tears still pouring down her wrinkled cheeks, she presented this to the Dalai Lama. He gracefully clasped his hands together and bowed humbly while accepting this gift.

This was the final straw for the journalist. He exploded with rage and challenged the Dalai Lama: “Why on earth would you take a wedding dress from this poor lady?”

The Dalai Lama replied: “I accept the dress and the gifts not because I need them, but because my people need to give them.”

The old lady that struggles with their groceries may not always need my help. It may be me that needs to help her. 

The problems in your life can make you selfish. This is especially true if one of these problems is that you are unhappy. Life’s problems exist on a spectrum of perception ranging from being stuck in traffic to debilitating depression. When we become absorbed in solving our own problems, we forget that everyone else has problems too

Sometimes the solution is not to focus on your own problems but rather, help someone else with theirs.

What is something small you can do for someone else today? 

Here are some easy, quick and cheap ideas. 

Making someone laugh with a Dad joke like “Did you hear what happened to the movie about constipation? [Pause for dramatic effect] It hasn’t come out yet.” 

Holding the door open for a stranger. 

Help an old lady with their groceries. 

Writing a thank you note to someone you care about. 

Putting a few extra dollars in someone else’s parking metre. 

Hugging your wife for preparing a delicious home-made gourmet pizza ready for you after work.  

Thanking a random firefighter for running towards fire whilst anyone sane would run away from it. 

Pointing out to a friend that you noticed a subtle but nonetheless, nice gesture they made to a fellow friend.

Much love to you and of course, myself.

Dr G

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