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Ponderings: Life Lessons Learned

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A few years ago on Thanksgiving, I had to run to the store for a few last-minute things while preparing dinner. I had only a few items and was waiting in line to pay. A women and her teen age son were in front of me with her items on the conveyor belt. I looked at the items on the conveyor: cereal, lunch meat and a few other very basic items. Nothing at all for a holiday meal.

When the cashier completed ringing up her order and gave her the total, the woman didn't have enough money to pay for her items. She was short a few dollars and was going to have to put something back. Honestly, I was in a hurry to finish cooking and was trying expedite things so I gave the cashier the difference to complete the order. The woman turned around and started crying, hugged me and said thank you.

My life lesson that I learned was that it may seem like a small thing for you to do to help someone else but it can make a very big difference to someone else. I learned so much from one small random act of kindness and I think about it everyone once in a while.

You don't know what everyone else's life is like. Be kind and do nice things for strangers. It is something nice to do for yourself.

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”
― Helen Keller

Some thoughts from Lori Moreno:

“No matter what happens in life, to keep on keeping on. Stay strong, positive and in love with your life no matter what is happening around you.”

“Do not allow toxic or negative situations nor peeps into your precious life, only allow positivity and love.”

“Work on yourSELF Everyday in every way. If you don't, no one will do the work for you.”

“In life, there are no mistakes, only lessons.”
― Vic Johnson

Some thoughts from Edgar Danmer:

There is a time and a place for everything. It's extremely helpful to have clarity and to be true to oneself. Having dreams is essential and to be incredibly resourceful in all situations. Life will continue to have ups and downs. But where there is a commitment, there is a way.

Some thoughts from Eli Ingraham:

Hmmm…life lesson learned….a great big question.

I’m always amused by the expression “lifelong learning” because my experience seems more like “life’s long learning.” I never cease to be amazed at how many times I recall C.S. Lewis’s words, “Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.” So I love the process of learning, and the refinement that comes by yielding to the ebb and flow of experience ~ of trial and error, of risk and return, as we make our way toward better. There is no getting it right, there is only getting it better. Finding and walking with those that want to make it better is life’s long learning.

What life lessons have you learned that have made a lasting impression on you?

Featured image courtesy of DucDigital via Creative Commons.
Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

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16 Comments

  1. Love this Peggy! Thanks for sharing a brilliant reminder that random acts of kindness can change us in amazing ways and really can turn a life around. And you also reminded me that we do not learn in a straight line.

    A favorite quote of mine is from Leo Buscaglia:

    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. 
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    Kelly

    1. Kelly,

      Thanks for the kind words. I have a magnet on my fridge with that quote by Leo Buscaglia that a lovely girl that I used with work with bought for me. I love that a lot too. Keeping small reminders to be nice to others keeps it in the forefront of your mind.

      I appreciate your support so much,

      Peggy

  2. There’s a saying I love…”The only happy people I know are people I don’t know very well.” It was said by a Rabbi’s mother. We rarely REALLY know what goes on in other’s lives – where there heartache may be, what they really suffer, or if they’re really as happy as they appear to be? Ponder that next time “you” feel envious!

    1. Really great thought Bruce. I try to be happy for others and not envious but being a happy person I am the target of envy by others. I will tell you that I have earned everything I have and I work very hard, no one is just handed things to them on a platter. Maybe some people, like the Kardashians, but not most regular people.

      Envy is a very misguided emotion. It doesn’t lead to anything positive. Really interesting Bruce…now I am pondering THAT!

      Hugs to the best blog commenter – I am working towards your fabulousness!

      Peggy

      1. Peg, you are THERE and beyond! How ironic that people will envy the cheerful person!? Who knows if the cheeriness is genuine or not? I am not referring to you because just as the saying goes, I don’t REALLY know you inside?! THAT is the point. What I see sure looks amazing, but we never really know the other, unless we happen to be sleeping next to them – and even then, it’s not always clear!

        1. I think that the envy comes from thinking that things are perfect for me when the truth is I work very hard at everything. Being a mom, wife, dog owner, blogger and the other things I am all take time & effort which I am willing to put into making my life the best I can do. Sometimes you get lemons, then you get lemonade. My cheerfulness is real – I wake up with a smile everyday. I have so many blessings in my life. 

          And if I have a hard day, I share that with a friend or two, but honestly complaining makes things worse, not better. 

          I would much rather be a joy to people than a drain on their emotions. I think each person has that choice to make themselves, some just don’t choose wisely. I try to be the kind of friend that I would like to have myself.

          It is interesting that people are so skeptical of happy, cheerful people. Why are people so jaded? When I was in NYC recently, I was thrilled to be in the city walking down the street, I smiled at a women on the corner and she looked at me like I was crazy and then smiled at me. I forgot people in NYC don’t smile at strangers on the street but I did get one New Yorker to smile. And I am sure not going to stop.
          😀

          1. There is very little we control in our lives. I like to say that “the only thing I control is what I eat for breakfast.” We parents know this to be especially true. BUT, we can control one other thing – our attitude. And, your attitude is just the best, Peg. I try to do the same though I have to admit I do whine a bit much!

          2. You do? Let me know when you need a smack in the head. 😀

            I just read your quote on your blog – I love that!

          3. My wife would say, “ALL THE TIME” to my needing a smack on the head! NO need to reply, Peggy! lol…

  3. I love what you did, and I have the same belief you do – you never know what’s going on in someone’s life, or how difficult it may be.  I learned that lesson when my father was ill, and when he first got sick, I was in a fog fairly often.  Sometimes when I wasn’t feeling up to being friendly or nice, I wanted to scream “my father is sick, that’s why I’m not smiling!”  It made me much more aware of how little we really know about the people we encounter on a daily basis.  Kindness is essential to a good life.

    1. This is beautiful Sharon: Kindness is essential to a good life.
      So very true!

      In my last job, I worked in a building with Seniors and they loved to come to visit me to chat. It interrupted my work a lot but giving someone a hug or a complement always made my day. I miss them.
      I really feel like kindness to others does come back to you and enriches everyone involved.

      Thanks for reading and sharing Sharon!
      Positively,

      Peggy

  4. Great example of Pay It Forward or Radom Acts of Kindness! Reminds me of saying, Always better to give than receive, so true. Just for the heck of it, try this; in drive through at your favorite coffee shop, every once in a while pay for the customer’s drink behind you. May never know that person or meet them…still feels good! Peggy, thanks for sharing!

    1. Denise,
      Love that – I have paid for the person behind me for coffee. So nice!

      Great reminder to keep thinking about small things that you can do.
      Cheers,

      Peggy

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