Recently.

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
– Guillaume Apollinaire

I was having dinner earlier last week when I came across two elderly gentlemen enjoying their dinner together in a booth adjacent to my own. They had to be in their late sixties, maybe early seventies, and appeared to be having a great time. It wasn’t difficult to overhear their conversation as one of them was using a voice loud enough to hear several tables away, but all I can recall them talking about were memories and events they had experienced together. One man asked the other if he “remembered the time when they were kids and…” so-on and so-forth, whereas the other explained how when he was a kid he had learned that mussels (a member of the clam family) were edible when they were kids (apparently, he had just watched a recent program that showed him where he could find them and how to clean them).

To be honest, I couldn’t help but smile as I listened to them talking aloud as though they were the only people in the restaurant. I lucked out, and finished before them and was able to pay for their meal before leaving to go home. I think pay-it-forward is a great and interesting gesture. I can’t ever see myself doing it only once a year, but often do it as frequently as my wallet allows. Sometimes I know who I’m paying for, whereas other times it’s for someone completely random. Regardless of whomever it is, however, I can never resist the opportunity to do it.

Another interesting event occurred this last week, as well, as I was heading to class. From PSU’s Parking Structure 3, I often pass by Epler Hall and the St. Helens dorm room, however, on this particular day (it was one of the last sunny days) I saw two ladies pushing a large couch off of the back of a large Ford truck bed. I had about 30 minutes before class began, and didn’t want to be late by helping them, but as I looked back at them I could see a hint of fatigue, so I stopped in my tracks and asked them if they needed my assistance. They smiled enthusiastically and replied, “yes, please!”

For the most part, I thought they only needed help getting the couch off of the truck, but I ended up helping them get it up to one of the girl’s dorm room on the second floor of the building. Interestingly enough, the doors were too narrow and not tall enough to fit the couch through, but with some finesse elbow grease, we figured out a way to get it through. Twenty-some minutes later, sweating more than I had intended I said goodbye to the two strangers and headed to class. One of the girls asked me for my phone number so that she could treat me out to something as a thank you, but I insisted that I didn’t need anything in return.

To be completely honest, I feel so blessed to have been given and to have received so much in this life that I think it’s only necessary that I give wherever I can. I may never become a multi-billionaire, but I know that if I did – I would (still) unabashedly do everything in my power to help others whenever I could.

It wasn’t until after all of the events that transpired this week that I saw the video, above. I feel as though (especially as a Christian) that it’s important to perform good deeds. Although good deeds don’t require money, I always feel a sense of wholeness and goodness whenever I’m able to give to others – just because. It always helps to ground me and help me realize that this life isn’t the story of ‘Me’, ‘You’, or ‘Them’, but ‘Us’.

Much Love to all of my friends and family that have been there for me through thick and thin. Also, Thank You for helping to form and shape me into the man that I am, today.

Have a safe and Happy Easter Sunday, everyone!