A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY
I am a great lover of the statement to ‘Lead By Example’, today I have a beautiful story that has me in tears every time I read it.
Whilst the story is about a man who is both confused and depressed the principle philosophy connection is based upon your skill to lead by example.
QUOTE: “If you motivate an idiot, you get a motivated idiot. You need to educate before you motivate.” (Jim Rohn).
Practical Philosophy is a difficult subject to teach as most of the quality insights are from your own experience. You know the fundamental principle, which once used in your own life, will provide the necessary truth in the principle.
When you think your life is at its lowest point, depression and sadness may set in. But if you compared it with a different individuals troubled life, you may realise yours isn’t so bad after all.
If you are an idiot, you may find that you attract idiots. If you are sensible, you’ll attract sensible people.
If you have a fear, which maybe for the point of today’s story, a fear of depression, you’ll attract other people with the same problem. If you could control your fear, all the other people you know who suffer the same fear will benefit.
Before you read the next story – go fetch a tissue...
photo courtesy: birdfinders.co.uk
Entitled: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY (Adapted)
“I'm a musician, songwriter and vocalist. I've spent two years in and out of the charts in the early 1990's. I'm disillusioned with the record business and their interest has waned as I have reached into my early thirties. I find little to interest me and easily get depressed with how this entertainment business works.
I needed to chill-out, get some space and re-charge my batteries. I thought the world was beginning to close in. For the last decade my life was my music. I'd started to write songs for a few potential newcomers, but none of these bands had been signed up.
I needed to get a new perspective on life so I rented an apartment by the sea for the winter of 2001. I couldn't put my finger on what was troubling me, but I knew I needed some time out.
I was sure that just one incident was going to trigger me out of the doldrums. Then I was shocked into defeat, when I went through a few months I describe below.
Today, I'm back writing songs in my studio, I have a smile and a new zest for life...
It all started when...
She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I'd moved to. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four hundred yards, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sandcastle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea. "Hello," she said. I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.
"I'm building," she said.
"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not caring.
"Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand."
That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by.
"That's a joy," the child said.
"It's a what?" "It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy."
The bird went gliding down the beach. "Good-bye, joy," I muttered to myself; "hello, pain," and turned to walk on. I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of balance. "What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.
"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."
"Mine's Wendy, I'm six."
"Hi, Wendy." She giggled.
"You're funny," she said.
In spite of my gloom I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me.
"Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day."
The days and weeks that followed belong to others: a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater.
"I need a sandpiper," I said to myself gathering up my coat. The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly, but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. I had forgotten the child and was startled when she appeared.
Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?"
"What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.
"I don't know, you say." "How about charades?" I asked sarcastically. The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is." "Then let's just walk." Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. "Where do you live?" I asked.
"Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.
Strange, I thought, in winter. "Where do you go to school?" "I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on holiday."
She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.
Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home. "Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today."
She seemed unusually pale and out of breath. "Why?" she asked. I turned toward her and shouted, "Because my mother died!"
I thought, my God, why was I saying this to a little child? "Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."
"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and ~ oh, go away!" "Did it hurt?" she inquired.
"Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, and with myself.
"When she died?"
"Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding, and wrapped up in myself I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-coloured hair opened the door.
"Hello," I said. "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was."
"Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please accept my apologies." "Not at all ~ she's a delightful child," I said, suddenly realizing that I meant it. "Where is she?"
"Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukaemia. Maybe she didn't tell you."
Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. My breath caught. "She loved this beach; so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no.
"She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..." her voice faltered. "She left something for you ... if only I can
find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?"
I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something, anything, to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope, with MR. P printed in bold, childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues, a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.
Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms. "I'm so sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," I muttered over and over, and we wept together.
The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my studio.
Six words - one for each year of her life - that speak to me of harmony, courage, and an undemanding love.
A gift from a child with sea-blue eyes and hair the colour of sand - who taught me the gift of love.”
(Adapted by Andy Bolton from an Unknown Author, especially to have a musical slant).
QUOTE: "As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates other.” (Marianne Williamson).