I love this modern-day proverb and I’m doing handstands now that I discovered it is absolutely true. Just be mindful that it works both ways and I’ve been on the giving and receiving end this year.
The Apostle Paul advanced the idea when he said we reap what we sow, meaning that whatever we do in life, good or bad, will have consequences. But you knew that. I’m trying to become a committed “do gooder” out of fear of the negative ramifications of being a “do badder.”
It all began when I found a handbag in a grocery cart at the Piggly Wiggly store the other day. It was a stunner too – very expensive-looking. I didn’t give a hoot what was inside, I just coveted the handbag. But without even checking the contents for a name I rushed it into the store and gave it to the manager. I sincerely hope it was returned to the rightful owner.
The reason I acted so quickly was that several months ago, right in the middle of the Christmas rush, I left my handbag in a grocery cart in the Kroger parking lot. I carefully unloaded all the goods into the back of my truck then drove over to the gas pump since I’d been driving on empty for several days and even the fumes had been used up. After filling up I reached over to the passenger seat where my bag likes to ride.
No handbag, no wallet, no money! I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I remembered that the last time I saw my purse was when I was unloading the grocery cart. Since it was two days before Christmas and you couldn’t stir the shoppers with a stick, I figured I’d never see that purse again along with all my insurance cards, credit cards and cold cash.
Since I couldn’t pay for the gas and didn’t want a police chase, I jumped from the vehicle and bolted across the parking lot to the place where I last saw my cart, praying my bag would still be inside.
I remembered exactly where I left it because I had been in a hurry and didn’t feel like returning the cart to the proper place. After looking around sheepishly to see that no one was looking I quickly drove away, barely avoiding a collision with the abandoned cart. So intent was I on getting out of there without returning the cart that I flat forgot to make sure it was empty. I firmly believe that one small premeditated transgression set the stage for bad karma that struck within minutes when I discovered my bag had gone missing.
Huffing and puffing, I arrived at the place I vacated the cart. No cart. No purse. I sprinted into the store and breathlessly asked the clerk if anyone had turned in a handbag. She asked if it was an animal print and held up the tacky bag I bought on an impulse and have been embarrassed by ever since. But at that moment it was a beautiful sight to behold. I had quite a bit of cash since I was planning to Christmas shop, and every penny was still there. The store manager described the young couple who turned it in and we went all over the store looking for them so I could offer a reward. They were nowhere to be found. I decided my guardian angel had come to my aid again. (He has come through for me so many times, that I’ve given him a name. I call him Clarence, and he rarely lets me down when push comes to shove.)
On Super Bulldog Weekend I experienced a second episode. Earlier in the week my date had lost a $20 bill. He probably dropped it on the ground when he pulled out his keys. As we walked across campus from the football game to the baseball game, he looked down and there was a $20 bill. Looking up at us was Ole Hickory himself, and I swear he winked. My date is a pretty generous guy, and I’m pretty sure he got his $20 back because of it.
My advice is to run, don’t walk, out into the big ole world and see if you can find someone in need of your help. Try not to think about what you’ll get in return. That’s probably the key. Just think what a world it would be if we all made it a priority to seek out people needing help.
Oh, and if you just can’t bring yourself to help your enemies, forgive them. Nothing annoys them more.