Yesterday, my husband lost all of the contacts on his computer, frustrating him immensely as it represents decades of business contacts, all friends, family, and commonly accessed services. In their place was a list of contacts from someone in the New Orleans area. Late into the night, Thor worked to restore the list.
Then this morning, we were awoken by a phone call, checking to see if he was okay. An email had gone out to everyone, marked “Urgent” and asking for money as he was “stranded in Italy.”
By the time we figured out what was happening, the phone was ringing incessantly, and texts and emails were flooding both our cellphones. It was overwhelming to say the least.
In the midst of this calamity came an email from a former employee of Thor’s saying he had tried to get through to the number in Italy, but was having trouble. He sent his cell number so Thor could contact him. Our initial reaction was disbelief that people would fall for this sham. Especially John, who Thor had not seen for decades, but whom he described as extremely bright.
“Why would he even thing you would ask him for money?” I wanted to know.
Thor called John and thanked him for his concern. It had actually happened to his daughter, he explained. She had been stranded overseas and needed to put a call out for money, so he didn’t like to take chances. Then they caught up on life since the last time they’d talked.
“It’s been way too long,” Thor told him as they ended the conversation. “Let’s do lunch soon.”
“Isn’t that nice that he would go out of his way after all these years.” We both agreed it was. More than nice. Heartwarming.
More messages came and a neighbour even came to the door, all checking that Thor was safe at home.
I know this post is supposed to be about “Discovering Your Purpose”, but purpose is that elusive promise that keeps our hearts and minds focused on anything but the here and now. I prefer, instead, to ask how can I live purposefully? How can I make each day count?
John did that today. He reached out to someone who once gave him a hand up in life, and risked appearing foolish, or worse, being defrauded, and brightened our day. He made a difference in someone’s life: small, but noticeable.
What if we all made that our purpose? To dare to help another, to extend a hand, and just say, “Are you okay?” To forget about ourselves for a moment, and the make the world a better place.