My father used to always tell me that it wasn’t what I knew, but who I knew that mattered. He knew someone everywhere he went. We could be in Washington DC at the Washington Cathedral and someone would walk up to him and say: “Dick Hamp – how are you?” Dad loved that – he needed that acclamation in his life, that recognition.
I’m not so sure I agree with Dad, although it doesn’t hurt to know people in certain places, like restaurants, theatres, and those sorts of places. What I’m beginning to understand that it is what I know that’s helping me more and more in my life.
I finally get that letting go of anger and resentment is the key to inner peace. I’m not saying this is easy and I do it all the time – I’m just saying I get that it’s the key!
I’ve also discovered that the more I let go of all these inner demons, the more animated I become in my own life. My hands seem to have a life of their own now when relating events that have taken place in my day to Susan. She likes to tell me if she tied my hands together behind my back, I wouldn’t be able to tell her a single story! I never thought of it, but since she’s pointed it out to me I watch my hands just take off in numerous directions when I’m speaking. I do a great impression of a snake…
With all that’s happening with my mother, I’ve come to understand that life doesn’t stop for any of us. Many people are facing what I’m facing and in that – we are all joined together. I’ve heard from people I’ve never met thanking me for writing what they were feeling and couldn’t find the words to express it, and from people simply telling me to be strong and know I’ve done the right things for her. People from all over the world have written me – people I will never meet. It makes me understand how small the world really is and how we really are all united in our feelings and our passions. We all have the same pain and sadness when our parents become elderly and cannot take care of themselves. It’s a universal pain and suffering. It unites us as a people. Well – it should unite us as a people.
As much as we’d like the world to stop sometimes – it just keeps turning. It was turning long before we got here and will continue to turn long after we are gone. Perhaps the answers are simply these: to just enjoy the turning of the world and learn what we can – help who we can – love as many people as we can – be kind – do good works expecting nothing in return. Be present for our friends in time of need and in times of joy – let go of anger and resentment and simply move on with your life, and learn to be present in your own life.
If you do nothing – you can expect nothing in return.