Embrace even the smallest amount of help

 Sometimes, when people give us a helping hand where we feel it’s unneeded, we get upset and turn them away. But they only want to help by doing whatever they can, whether it’s big or small.

 

To preface my message, here’s a condensed version of an Indian story from the Ramayana. At this point in the Ramayana, the hero, Ram is trying to build a bridge from the Indian mainland to Lanka (now known as Sri Lanka) in order to rescue his kidnapped wife. As the monkey king’s subjects help him pile up the boulders, a small squirrel comes up to them carrying in its paws a few pebbles.

The little squirrel asks, “Here, these pebbles are to help the blessed Rama’s bridge. I must do my fair share of the work.”

Indignant the monkeys exclaimed “You? What can YOU do?”

The squirrel replied, “I am helping to build the bridge. I am carrying the small pebbles that along with your rocks, will help build the bridge.”

The monkeys laughed. “WE are carrying the big rocks and moving mountains for Rama. What would he need your pebbles for?”

The squirrel said, “I cannot carry big rocks or mountains. God has given me only enough strength to carry these pebbles. I cannot do anymore, but this I will do because its the only thing can and I want to help Rama in anyway possible.”

Sadly, the monkeys didn’t care and they told the squirrel to leave. But she would not and she kept bringing her little pebbles. Frustrated they again told her to leave. Still she said “I want to help too.” In the end her little pebbles, small as they were, filled the squirrel with pride of being able to help and though it was a small portion, did indeed contribute to the bridge's structure.

 

            At my house, my grandmother and great-aunt live with us. They do the little things just to have a small impact on us, and so that they feel like they are important and helpful. Occasionally, we get a bit irritated when they are helping us with small tasks that we are competent enough to accomplish. This story makes me realize that we should take a step back and recognize that they just want to do the little they can to help. We should appreciate them as opposed to merely shrugging their actions off.

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Sometimes when life seems rough, think about how it WILL get better. Think about how you’ve surmounted these obstacles before, and therefore, you can do so again. Look at this bump in the road and realize that it is one of the challenges that you must pass to fully enjoy the journey/experience. For example, in cross country, no one wants to go over the hill, but after the long grid uphill, you reach the top and are left with the easy road downhill to the finish line. Life is like that cross country hill. You don’t want to attempt it, but once you do, you appreciate its value and are more likely to surmount again with less trepidation.
Conquer your hills and think about the rewards waiting on the other side. On your mark, get set, go!

The difference technology makes

Under such a title, I could go in many directions, but I want to focus on the varying ages of technology users and their respective uses. My 85 year old grandmother used to spend her days reading, but as she grew older, this became more and more difficult. Soon, she began spending more time watching tv. She has an unquenchable thirst for learning and she continued to pursue it by watching shows. However when we purchased the Apple iPad, it turned her learning around. Now she can stream her shows via YouTube, browse websites without having to venture down to the basement, and even read on the magnifiable screen. Occasionally we hear her ask “Where’s my iPad?”. It’s so exciting for me to hear her call it hers because she is really the main person who uses it to it’s full potential, and I love how she continues learning through it. She hasn’t let her age stop her from advancing her knowledge, and it’s truly a beautiful thing.

Downtime

Sometimes in the midst of our busy lives, a breath of fresh air is needed. At these times, I find myself craving a fat book or a long run. I wonder what it is about these activities that helps to clear my head. Is it just the pause and calm break or something more? Are our brains wired to need pauses between strenuous or “hard” activity?