“Never resist a generous impulse.” Words spoken by the Dalai Lama at a conference I attended in Vancouver 2004.
I knew a woman who wished to become the kind of person who would surprise people with “joy.” She explained it like this:
“oftentimes surprises are the kind we don’t want: a cancer diagnosis, an engine failure in the car, a leaky skylight, a ruined relationship… I want to be the person who springs pleasant surprises on others…ones that are joyful; delicious; the kind that make you laugh or bring tears of happiness.”
I have never forgotten this special woman and today, as she popped into my mind, I thought of her wish. And I recalled how I had been the recipient of just this kind of surprise.
My favourite apple is a Gravenstein from Nova Scotia. For 33 years I lived on the westcoast and each fall I longed for the taste and smell of an eastcoast Gravenstein. One September day, I received an unexpected and very heavy parcel delivered by courier. To my complete surprise it was a huge can filled with Gravenstein apples, a gift from my cousin Sonya.
I tried to convey to her my total gratitude, joy and appreciation for this amazing gift. And, I couldn’t have been more delighted if she had sent me a million dollars. The apples were shared with friends and family as though they were the most perfect food with which to celebrate September. Looking back now I see that we were all caught up in this joyful surprise.
At the time I cajoled Sonya for her extravagance in sending apples by courier but I also let her know how happy I was that she had been so extravagant. Sometimes, even though it costs the moon to do something crazy like this, I have come to realize that it is worth it. Not the dollar value but the priceless value of what can’t be measured. The flavour and taste of those particular apples is with me still, all these many years later.
Can’t we all use more of this kind of “surprise?” I too want to spread more happiness, laughter, delight and smiles. Maybe we should cast our nets wide and go with the generous impulse more often. No telling how much cheer we can leave behind on the path.
So grateful to all the generous-hearted people I have met in my life. May I be more like you.
Note:I write this from Calgary where I have been for the past six days and where I have been the recipient of kindness and joyful surprises everytime I turned around. Until next week, Trudy