March 5, 2010
My Greatest Accomplishment
What I consider my greatest accomplishment may be so totally foreign to most people. An accomplishment like this is hard to match until the right moment comes along. Then it's like the heavens open up and love starts to pour down on us.
Quite a while ago, I was riding the bus home from work and a lady that appeared to be homeless, with really ragged and dirty clothes, who was also drunk or stoned or something, got on the bus. She asked the bus driver several times which bus she needed to take to get to the East Side. She was on the wrong bus. The driver attempted to tell her several times too, that she had to get off this bus and walk over another block. She was so confused, and I was moved by her genuine plea for help.
I stood up and went to help her. She could hardly stand, so I helped her off the bus. She could hardly walk so I motioned the bus on and began to walk with her. She asked me to hold her hand. So I did and we walked safely to the correct bus stop. While we were walking I asked her what her name was. Then I said I was happy to meet her. She got a look of surprise on her face and smiled. She asked my name and I told her. Then I looked up her correct bus on the schedule and told her which bus it was and how long it would take. She turned to me, thanked me and said, "I love you John." And I replied, "I love you too." A warmth ran through me as I said that. I was so far out of my comfort zone on this that I felt amazed by it all. Then I told her to be careful and slowly walked back to my stop to wait for the next bus.
The author of the Red Suit Diaries said that no one really chooses to become Santa. It starts with a desire to make others happy and to give them hope. His transformation of the heart started one day when he changed a light bulb for a man in a wheelchair. It felt very good to him to do something that was so easy for himself to do, yet nearly impossible for this man in the wheelchair to do. It was a simple task that made a huge difference in another person's life. He discovered that the real gift was not a present or something we buy in a store, but the gift of our self. This is one of many experiences that have profoundly changed my life.
So I consider my greatest accomplishment in life has been learning to give my self to others and developing a desire to make others happy and give them hope. How can I ever weigh a personal accomplishment or achievement against giving another human being a friend for a block? In another lifetime I might not have done that. This time I got out of my comfort zone and connected with another human being and I changed.