(Inspired by a recent conversation with a friend)
Imagine that you have tidbits of good will to hand out. We all know that all people have great quantities of good will to hand out but for the purpose of this brief BLOG, imagine that they are tangible little items that can be counted and manipulated by hand, weighed, or grabbed recklessly, so that you can give them away in measured quantities, or take them and run, consuming them on the fly without thought. You could also, if you chose, imagine these tidbits of good will come in a variety of colors and delicious flavors meaning that a person could pick and choose from all of them in the jar or bowl or pocket and seek out just the right color. And imagine that these little tidbits of good will that you have to hand out are measurable and quantifiable. Then you can imagine that the little tidbits of good will you have are in a jar or bowl on your desk or in your office someplace, on a shelf at home, or perhaps in a long forgotten and unused ash tray in your car. These are tidbits which sit there incapable of doing anything on their own which of course means that they are totally reliant on someone or something to physically move them from place to place, that is from jar or bowl by hand to mouth, or to pocket, or from the jar by hand to someone else’s hand or mouth. A most intimate gesture might be for one individual to pick a few small tidbits of good will and offer them to another person.
Not all tidbits of good will leave of their own accord. Or, if I dare be so direct, they have been stolen. Only a small sampling of people a very rare person indeed would stoop to such a task as attempting to take a bit of something that might be freely given, yet it does happen. Not that I count them mind you for they are far too numerous to count. I notice though by simply looking and realizing that the level of jar in which my tidbits of goodwill are kept that the level goes down. When I notice them having been removed my heart weeps, not for my loss, but for the other’s neediness.
Neediness is a larger, greater, far more troublesome category. I think there are people who will take a tidbit of your good will for the joy of taking it and the thrill of seeing if they can get away with it, for some it is, or becomes, a sort of sport. But in the case of real neediness, it does not feel as much a joy to share. There is something of value offered and received when there is sharing from a simple desire to share rather than out of another’s need.
Sharing, giving one from the heart, reaching down into the inner recesses of our spirit and offering something of your own to another, even if it is only a tidbit, well, that is special. It is giving, or offering and it is from a mutuality of desire and appreciation, even if what is shared back is as simple as a smile of gratefulness. You see tidbits of good will, whether advice or counsel, good conversation or a hardy handshake, a hug or a jelly bean; are all meant to be shared and only have real value when used in a positive way.
There is a jar full of jelly beans in my office, but there is counsel, teaching, and sharing – not so much on the shelf as it is in the gestures of friendship – a smile – a hug – a kind word – anything that expresses care and compassion in life that can be for you or for another, as good as a grape flavored jelly bean. It is through these gestures of kindness freely offered to one another that our community is enlarged and strengthened.
Jelly beans anyone?