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  1. Greetings Neotopians,
    With the holiday season fast approaching I would like to share a story in hopes it will give you cause to reflect upon what you have instead of don't have and to be grateful for it even if you have very little.

    In my day to day life I encounter so many who boast and brag about all the money, material possessions and the status they have achieved in life. I am very happy they enjoy a fruitful life and don't have a need to receive but yet they still take. Where is the spirit and joy of Humble Giving in them?

    I would like to tell you a story of a woman who helped my Grandfather as a young boy.
    My Grandfather lived a life growing up with very little in ways of comforts and even basic daily needs.
    One night a powerful earthquake hit his area and reduced his village to rubble. He was separated from his parents for 3 days and he was without food and proper clothing for the weather.

    On the third day of this ordeal he was kneeling by a rain puddle drinking from it when he was approached by a young woman. She looked warn an tired and very sad. She knelt down next to him and asked, " Where
    family and what is your name little boy?" He answered her questions and she then took him by the hand and said, "I will help you find your family after you have had something to eat."

    She took him not far from where he was to a shell of her once beautiful little home. There was two walls left standing and they were draped with cloths to make a makeshift shelter for her and her family.

    They did not have anything to spare yet she gave my grandfather a bowl of water with the faint flavor of chicken in it and a small ball of rice. She then came over to him with a little brown coat in her hands. Her eyes welled up with tears as she said," This belonged to one of my little boy until the earthquake took him from me"

    She stood him up and slipped the coat over his cold little arms and she cleaned grandfather's sweet, little face with the corner of her robe. She held grandfather's face in her hands and told him, "Even when you think you have nothing, you have everything." "You have your life."
    She kissed his cheek and walked him to another village a few miles away where eventually he was reunited with his parents only to learn he lost his sister to the earthquake.

    To this day Grandfather remembers he kindness of a stranger who never gave her name or asked for anything in return. Not even so much as a thank you from him or his family.

    He says I can still feel the warmth of that little brown coat, the soothing that humble bowl of soup gave to the burning hunger in his belly, and the loving kindness of a stranger and her family.

    Grandfather still makes this soup once a week as do I myself. We sit in contemplation as we consume it and remember the honorable woman who gave that gift to not only Grandfather but generations to follow.
    We have our lives. If Grandfather perished like his sister then I would not be here today.

    As for the little brown coat, well Grandfather doesn't have it anymore. He has passed it on to someone else who needed it. He did not give his name or even show his face.

    So this holiday season I ask you all to please take a moment and eat humble soup and reflect on what you have and be grateful.

    I also ask that if you can spare anything at all give of yourself to someone in true need. There are so many ways to give without even spending any money.

    Maybe you have a elderly neighbor who would be happy to have your time to talk or help with some household chores?

    Maybe a simple act such as buying an extra cup of coffee for the homeless person sitting outside the shop.

    Dig deep in your hearts if you can't dig into your pocket.

    If you can spare a little money, have a look in your area for a food or clothing bank and donate a few dollars or a little of your time or clothing items.

    Maybe make a donation in someone else's honor?

    Maybe even as simple as wrapping your gifts to loved ones and not putting who it's from on the package?

    Try to be as humble as possible when making a donation. Do not give your name or take a receipt for a tax write off. Be anonymous if at all possible.

    A true act of giving is to give and expect nothing in return. Not even recognition.

    It's a wonderful feeling and it becomes an addiction you can take personal, silent pride in.

    On a closing note, I would also like to say that we all have had our differences with at least one person on this forum.

    You may have good reason not to interact with that individual(s) anymore but maybe take a moment and close your eyes and wish them happiness, health and the ability to grow in the future.

    If you don't have a good reason then maybe consider laying down the axe you are grinding and offering your hand in friendship again.

    I wish all of you a safe, happy, healthy holiday season and life thereafter.

    Peace to you all.
    :love: Love,
    sKy