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30 October 2018

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Corey, your posting today comes through as a heartfelt, honest and timely message. I've been feeling the same recently, as life has picked up its pace, as death becomes closer and closer as we in the middle age really start to feel like getting older and older. In the meantime we see the good, we see the senseless, and it really does challenge one to think. Does God exist? If so, why the suffering and the injustice? Why, also, only to grant us the privileges and the pleasures, only to punctate it in ourselves in others, sufferings, hardworking, and challenges? Do we deserve more? Do we deserve less? At the end, we all will die, so maybe that is really the great equalizer and none of this life really matters. Yesterday, I had a strange perception that everything that we call 'reality' is actually a perception, a lesson, given to us. We might think we experience certain things, but in fact, this is not the real world, but to each one of us, an individual 'lesson plan' given to us, with a unique curriculum that includes 'perceptions' of other people's realities. I remember seeing my patients at their last breath. When the soul leaves the body, the body is entirely vacant, like a shell that has been left on the beach head. The person is gone. But gone to where? Where the did person go. And where did the person come from? Why are we here? Someone once told me, 'Don't worry about anything. When you were in the womb, you didn't even have a nose, and you were not worried!' Anyway, sorry for being reflective today (hey, I can blame it on your post). Thanks for writing this post, as it makes me feel las if others are feeling/thinking/sensing similar questions about life.

Interesting comment Joanna.
Corey, your story reminded me of this video I recently saw about a young woman helping others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=xATsJijzVNo

Such a lovely thing to do, Corey. I haven't visited your blog in many years, but your content and lovely generous spirit has not changed.

I remember having a similar question as I worked with street kids in Sao Paulo Brazil, "Why had I been born to a life of privilege and not them?" And a small voice came back, "You were born so that you could come and help these children."

I often, very often, feel overwhelmed with the pain, evil and hatred of the world, but daily I ask God to help me see the world with God's eyes and to reach and love whoever is put in my path.

Corey,
I’ve been reading your blog forever, but this is my first time commenting. Your post today was just so touching! I had the “ whatsoever you do” hymn running through my head, so your words were so timely! I too, am wondering what has happened to compassion for others less fortunate. I believe in God but am not a church-goer. I took my mom to her church a few weeks ago and I was shocked at the political comments I heard throughout the service. These are all people that I would consider very nice people. i guess you never really know what someone is thinking on the inside. It’s so depressing! Have you seen the art project by Ai Weiwei that shows the human figures in the huge inflatable life raft? All the adults are sitting around the edges with the babies and children in the middle. It is so haunting to look at! He says “there’s no refugee crisis, only a human crisis” and he is so right!! It seems like there is no tolerance for people unlike ourselves. But we are all the same - human!

Squirrel Hill was Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in real life, and what his mother famously told him about encountering scary events -- advice most recently revived in Pittsburgh following the Tree of Life synagogue massacre -- is relevant in your case, too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LGHtc_D328

For Steeler nation, see also:
https://twitter.com/macky_neal/status/1056332443022712832/photo/1

I appreciate all you've shared here, Corey.

I often see things from the other side...the petty, jealous side. It hasn't always been so, but more these last few years. Wondering why the health challenges, why a disfunctional birth family that presents more challenges as the years pass, why the workplace stressors. After years of moving forward and making due and looking the other way and smiling in the face of adversity, I have grown weary. I am not proud of this; quite the opposite.

For me, at least, I think it is the world around us that has created an atmosphere of despair, a dimming of the hope that used to buoy our spirits amid these trials. So much tragedy, so many lives lost, so much negativity. And, as you say, so many questions about where our Higher Power fits in all of it.

I love coming here to spend time in your virtual presence. I love your family as my own. It gives me such joy each time I see the wedding pictures and video of Chelsea and Martin. I am filled with pride at how Sacha is striking out on his own and chuckle at the things he shares on IG. I pray for Yann's safety as he makes this Indian dream a reality. While the brocante does not call my own name, I still revel in your pleasure at finding hidden treasures.

You have a kind and caring spirit, Corey. May we all keep the faith until the answers we seek are revealed.

God bless you Corey for your kindness. I went to a memorial service yesterday for a man who often seemed like a no nonsense hard working man and rarely let others see his soft side unless he was talking about his family. The man giving the eulogy reminded all of us about the homeless alcoholic the man befriended years ago. The man being eulogized made sure the man had a warm place to stay, had food and clothing and medical care as needed. This went on for many years. My perceptions in my youth of the alcoholic man were of his nasty comments and the smell of urine and filth and avoiding him. What the man saw was someone who would have died if he hadn’t helped him. He took care of him not because he wanted praise but because he saw another human in need. Our friend was a man with a good education, highly respected professnal with s great family. He had no reason to help the man , but he did. Just like you and the man at the train station.
Whenever my father came across someone with a medical or emotional disability he told me he would often remind himself “There but for the grace of God, go I”. Perhaps my friend felt the same way.

Thank you, Corey! So beautifully spoken. As a Quaker I am reminded that God is in each of us, it doesn't matter who we are. As a young girl I am reminded that my mom struggle with having enough money to keep her little family together (my father deserted her when I was 2 and she was pregnant with my sister). Our power was going to be turned off and I was worrying about it. Someone in our church brought us the money to pay the bill and said instead of paying them back to pay it forward. I have always remembered that and it was such an impact on me. I just wish I could do more than I do.

Corey, the world is a better place with you in it. It's all down to empathy, and realizing that one's fortunate situation can be down to the randomness of the universe. Hugs to you for your kindness.

That event was traumatizing for the soul of any decent person. Kathie thank you for these links.

You make the world a better place. Thank you.

Excellent post, Corey. Thank you.

Corey, what a wonderful post this is! How well you write. How well you live. How timely to be thinking these thoughts and acting in this way. Your actions simply came from who you are in your soul. Natural and unforced. The very definition of grace. Thank you.

You have expressed my worry about the trend toward self-congratulation. That one is rich by dint of hard work, and not because of inheritance or because of laws that allow one to operate a business that relies on paying people too little to live on. I don't see it changing soon, because the idea that regulation is bad seems to be the current gospel, even among those who are being underpaod, drinking unfitnwater and breathing dirty air.
I often wonder about the homeless in France. Certainly there are the sans-papiers, who lack access to government services, but it seems that overall the French government is pretty generous with aid for those in need. How does someone like this man fall through the cracks of this safety net I am happy to fund with my taxes?
Thank you for sharing this story and reminding us that even if we can't change the world, we can make someone's life better, if only for a day.

This post deeply touched my heart.
Thank you for sharing.
I love you
Keep shining your beautiful light the world needs it.
Love Jeanne

Thank you for sharing this story...truly a teaching moment and a reminder of how we should all consider our responses to others in need....sometimes it just takes a little courage to step out of our comfort zone to do a right thing in any given situation....thank you for your example...let us all be a pebble in the pond....

So well articulated Corey. Thanks for the reminder.

A great reminder to us all

You transcribed the persistent monologue that I have had in my brain for years...thank you for laying it out...your heart of gold illuminates what we struggle with on a daily basis.

The only answer I have is for the question "why me?"...I uttered that question forty years ago when my baby girl, christened with my tears moments before going into brain surgery at seven days old...I repeatedly cried out, why me? The answer that soothed me came from my husband's lips...."why anyone else?" I revisit that answer daily as I try to understand why her suffering of forty years has gotten worse..."why anyone else?"....nothing special about my pain, only it is mine.

Carry on your light...and through it your loving heart...

This is without doubt the best post you have ever written. Thank you for sharing this story, these thoughts. They will stay with me, always.

Well said.

Beautiful post.

I shall take your husband's wisdom and words with me forever...so true-and thank you for sharing -

blessings to you

debra

we have to have a heart that sees and eyes that see too-I just asked my aunt DON"T PEOPLE SEE?-and she boldly said NO THEY DO NOT....first the seeing, then the doing-- to see and do nothing....I can never understand-in the end we can only put our drop in the bucket our stone tossed creating a ripple-you cannot make people care-you can only lead by example-over and over again and no trumpet blaring needs to announce the action or praise or accolade-- no karma--- no payback just doing your something no matter the size BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING-- THE COMPASSIONATE THING-- THE LOVING THING TO DO...even if no one else sees-creating that ripple should be a daily goal-- giving out of excess is good giving/doing out of need is the miraculous-the truly altruistic act because there is nothing to be gained in doing so-just my two cents

Come home to America. We need you. We are ripped worn and tearful. The past 2 years have been a nightmare of horrible smears hate and lies. It is hard to hold one's head up as an American. Our refugees have their final hearing 12/11 and pray not to be sent home to their "shit hole country". We still hope for compassion and refuge for them but times are bleak and ICE still hold their passports. We pray without ceasing but it still feels like Europe in 1938-bitter and unwelcoming. All of us have friends in Squirrel Hill with broken hearts. How will we make these desperate wrongs right. Our leader does not want to be a follower of peace.

What a lovely day you had Corey. As you fed the hungry man, he fed you. Look how many comments you elicited with the tale of your good deed, and I have no doubt that you have sown more seeds of future generosity in its telling as well. A lovely, blessed day for all.

Beautiful. Thank you for showing so much kindness and thoughtfulness.

Beautiful post filled with truth and challenges for each of us. Bless you and your heart for listening to God and reaching out to this man. We all need to do this more. Have a wonderful day! ❤️

Your best blog post! Love and Kindness is a daily practice which you do so well!

And thank you for your concern, Diogenes. It's been a heart-breaking time here.

I've thought a lot about 'what goes around, comes around'. Put a different spin on it - maybe that man had been very kind to someone in need and you giving him money for food during his time of need is not about you. It's about what he gave coming back to him. It's such a humbling thought. That's how I've been trying to think about those 'random acts of kindness'. I'm the instrument helping to pass out those rewards for random acts of kindness that someone has done. I'll be getting no reward for what I'm doing. I'm only an Instrument of God's Will.
And don't I sound like I'm experiencing the Sin of Pride? I just don't know how to express myself without sounding like a Pharisee. Please don't misunderstand me. Like I said - I'm just trying to look at things in a little bit different way.

Thank you for painting with words the portrait of too many in the world, who struggle to survive. A canvas representing their faces are never framed in gold.

Such a beautiful post, Corey. It brought me back to my few days in Denver for a conference a year or so ago. One of my favorite things to do when I eat out is to buy extra meals to hand out to the homeless on my walks home. On the last night, my friend and I bought several extra meals and looked for takers on our way back to the hotel. My usual question was, "Are you hungry?" which would be met so often with a smile and a "Yes." One young man in particular accepted our offerings and stood to talk with us for a bit. An old woman with a walker came by and the young man stopped her and asked, "Are you hungry?" When she said, "Yes, please," he reached into our bag and handed her HIS meal and made sure she got the piece of chocolate cake. We stood with him until he had managed to find takers for all the food in our very large bag. His face was gentle and sweet and his heart was so loving. I was in awe of how he turned around our giving to benefit others. It was such a beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing your story today. xoxo

Bless your heart!

Thank you posting, Corey. You give me hope.

Thank you for sharing such an exquisite moment.

Makes me think of MLK Jr’s quote:

Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our souls when we look the other way.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Paula, the experience still warms my heart. Thank you.

what a wonderful writer and storyteller you are! Thank you.

Kathy

You truly understand the meaning of generosity. Your heart is brimming and you inspire me with your kindness and your ability to write so eloquently about your life. Thank you for this... One note. I am Buddhist. Karma is not that simple to understand... and rest assured that what you describe as karma is not what it truly is. :)

Thank you for sharing this story!! XOXO

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