Monday, August 6, 2012

The bracelet of awesomeness and a glass bok choy made me think...

We stopped at Denny's the other morning for breakfast, and our waitress had a lovely bracelet, which I admired. It was a stretchy bracelet her mother sent her from the Philippines. I loved the green glass bead that looks like bok choy, and the tiger bead that looks slightly vicious and bite-y. She took my hand and put it on my wrist. "Take it." I balked - I can't take her lovely bracelet from her mother! "It looks nicer on you."

There was a little of that back and forth - "no, I couldn't take your bracelet" and "you really should take it" dance - but in the end, I accepted it. I thanked her profusely, then told her we'd be making something similar in my craft group that afternoon. When I arrived at my Yarrow craft group, I showed them the bracelet and encouraged them to make something with the elastic cord I had and to make something colourful and wacky! (These are just some of the bracelets the kids made...)

I think a lot about kindness, generosity, and gratitude. So much of my life and so much of what I want to teach the kids are based on these simple, yet easily forgotten, concepts.

People ask me why I give away so much for free, and the answer is simple - I learned how to make bath & body products thanks to the kindness of others, and I feel I should pay it forward. Isaac Newton said something to the effect that "if I have seen further than others, it is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants". We can interpret this to mean that he was able to do what he did because of all the work by those who came before us. None of us is an island - you learned what you know because someone took the time to share with you.

I encourage you to consider how you can give back to those who have given to you. Teach a class, share a recipe, show someone how to make something awesome, or spend some time with someone who really wants to learn. Talk to your local school, community centre, or library to see if you can offer a class to kids, youth, or adults. It is great fun to instruct, and you'd be sharing something really valuable that might spark that enthusiasm in one of the participants.

Receiving a bracelet from a stranger might not seem like much to some, but Glenda's generosity reminded me why I do what I do at home, at work, at the groups, and on this blog. I really do have a great life, eh?


Lise M Andersen said...

what a wonderful thing to experience. Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

I just quoted you on a Stained Glass Facebook Group I belong too. There has been many discussions on "copying" or using other people's work for inspiration. I used this statement of yours:
'None of us is an island - you learned what you know because someone took the time to share with you."

Weighty words there, lady. Very appropriate for the people who are "offended" when someone "steals" their ideas. Just where did they get their ideas from?

I too follow the "pay it forward" philosophy.

So once again, I say thank you!

Thank you!