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09-05-16 You Are the Epicenter of Generosity Image“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia

As a little boy, I frequently attracted attention.

My skin hadn’t yet fully healed after the fire. My body was wrapped in bandages. My core temperature was difficult to control, so my sisters constantly fanned me as I sat in my wheelchair.

And, as one of six kids, when my family arrived, we made quite a boisterous entrance!

I was reminded of those days, those “entrances,” those stares, when I heard about an experience Cynthia Tipton had at dinner with her family at a restaurant in St. Louis recently. (Read the full story here.) Let me share it with you.

Her son, Noland, is 10 and lives with high-functioning autism. It can be difficult to control his emotions; on this day a little teasing from his sister set him off.

Noland started screaming. Cynthia quickly knelt beside him, stroked his back and began whispering in his ear, hoping to calm him before other families’ dinners were interrupted.

It was not working.

The screams intensified.

A few more minutes of soothing her son passed before the crying quieted, Noland relaxed and the other families turned back to their own tables.

Watching their waitress approach, Cynthia was certain there’d been complaints. In the past, she’d been asked to leave and assumed the request was coming again. She readied herself for the awkward exit when the waitress handed the family their bill for dinner.

Instead of asking her to pay it and leave, the waitress explained that another family had just anonymously paid for their dinner. They had included a simple note:

“Hi. We couldn’t help but notice what a great mother you are and what a beautiful family you have. God bless.”

My friends, we’ve all been in situations that provided an opportunity to make a difference. We’ve observed someone struggling in a wheelchair and walked past. We’ve seen people in great need on city corners and crossed the street to avoid them. And we’ve witnessed parents struggling, kids crying, commotion mounting, and chosen to judge them.

I believe the lack of action is not so much indifference or callousness, but fear.

Yet there is a different path, an inspired response. It’s the kind capable of transforming chaotic events into moments of grace. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

Today, I invite you to view others, challenges, and meltdowns through the lens of compassion. When others put their heads down and step away, be encouraged instead to lift yours and step forward. Realize not only the profound magnitude of generosity but the truth that you can be its epicenter.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

I love reading “good news” stories like this one about Cynthia’s family in the media! What is your favorite recent good news story? Post a link to it in the comments below.

6 replies on “You Are the Epicenter of Generosity”

I stay one mortgage payment ahead so that if I need money for an emergency I’ve at least got some. My son and I had just finished grocery shopping. We saw a family of six in the parking lot holding up a sign asking for money to help feed the family . I gave them all the cash I had which was only seven dollars. We started heading home and I asked my son if we should go back and help them more? He said yes. They really touched his heart, too. (He is 13 years old.). We turned around and went back to them. Only the husband spoke English. There were three girls around the ages of three, six, and seven. The baby boy was about three months old. We had them follow us into the grocery store with a shopping basket and told them to pick out everything that they needed. We even went and got them toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, diapers, baby powder, shampoo, shaving cream and razors, and many other personal items, along with several Cardinal baseball baby onesies…and stuffed animals for all the children. The wife picked out lotions and items she longed for. The grocery bill was in enormous. Much larger than I had thought it would be. We help them load the groceries into their old van. They were so appreciative! Then I asked them if they needed gas for their van and of course they did…It looked as though they were living in it. So we drove to the gas station and filled the van up with gas. We hugged and parted ways. My son and I were so blessed by the experience. I’m a single mother and on a very tight budget, but we trust God will meet our needs. I hope that our story encourages others not to turn a blind eye when they see someone in need. Most of us are blessed far beyond what we think we are . It turns out that my emergency money was not meant for me but for someone else.

Maria: YOU are a gift….wow…..thank you for inspiring me to be bold enough to ask (and answer!) the question What More Can I Do?! You live it lady….and gave a family hope when the light was likely dim. Thanks for it….and stay on fire –

Mike – we have things like this happen to us all the time….did when I was a kid…and still do today…it’s humbling, amazing, and makes me want to be like that for others!

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