The impetus for this post came from a quote by a character in “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” If you have not watched this movie and its prequel, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” I would highly recommend both for your enjoyment. They are about beginnings and endings, changes and starting over, but most of all, they are about not giving up.
Not only are they delightful movies, but they also star two of my favorite actresses, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. The only thing that could make them better would be the inclusion of Helen Mirren. Regina would probably say the inclusion of Richard Geer in this sequel was enough for her.
The quote came toward the end of the movie, and was a line from an investor, played by David Strathirn. He had come to “check on his investment.” He said to Maggie Smith’s character, “There’s nothing I respect more than someone planting trees under whose shade they may never sit.” Now, that is some powerful stuff!
As I reflect on all that is wrong in our world, I often fail to acknowledge all the things that are right. There are people in our world who are giving and sharing on a daily basis. The problem comes from the fact that the media doesn’t usually feature those acts of kindness. Strife, conflict, hate, and pain are a much better “sell.” It is also a fact that, if those acts are done in a selfless fashion, they just don’t show up on the radar.
A good example of this sort of selfless act is the mentoring program within the American Tapestry Alliance, a totally volunteer organization. Regina just got paired-up with a mentor from that organization. This lady is a professional tapestry weaver who teaches workshops and sells commissioned artwork to private collectors. She is willing to mentor Regina for six to twelve months for no fee. Additionally, her work is a perfect match for Regina’s focus at this time.
The Emeritus College program, in which I participate through The University of North Texas, is another good example. Through this program, knowledgeable persons share their expertise and experience with members of the organization. The lecturers are not paid for their participation. Sharing is its own reward.
These are two fairly large examples, but there are countless others of which all of us are aware. Many of us perform these selfless acts frequently, if not daily, and we never really know what impact they have at the time, or may have in the future. We should all endeavor to find those opportunities as often as possible, and act on them without any thought of reward, other than knowing we may have planted a tree that someday will provide shade and comfort.