A Bear Memoryby Byron Pulsifer, ©2012
That time of year again came and went with a swiftness that always surprises me. I am talking here about Christmas, a time of year a lot of us look forward to for many weeks before it arrives only to find that the days fly by. But, I also remembered something this year that I was reminded of by an event. I remembered my favorite childhood bear.
Don't ask me why I remembered this bear - maybe it was because of a little bear I have on our Christmas tree that hangs there silently looking at me. Or, maybe it was because of all the kindness and joy of others that came to our house this year. I always have a great time giving little gifts to all these family members and the extended family. And, it is always great to get a few gifts in return - but this was not what was on my mind.
The Question I Asked
I remember receiving my favorite bear for x-mas one year when I was just a little tike. This event always stuck in my mind over the years and I believe that part of this memory is because of a question that I asked of my parents. You see, our family was quite large and there always wasn't a lot of money to buy a lot for each child at x-mas. But, we also never went without anything. So, on this particular Christmas morning, I was lucky enough to get a bear - one that I had spied sometime ago and told my parents how much I liked it. And, that bear was just what I got.
Where Are Your Gifts?
After all my siblings had finished opening their gifts, I noticed, I guess for the first time, that my parents didn't have any gifts to open at all. So, I turned to my mother, and asked, "Mom, where are yours' and Dad's gifts?
She looked at me for a moment and then simply said, "We would rather you kids have gifts - we don't need anything except all of you right here with us."
Obviously, as a child, I did not really understand her answer but as the years past and especially as a parent, I know exactly what she meant.
Memories of Life
Throughout life, there are many memories that cross back into our consciousness. Some of these memories serve to provide us with a guiding light to how we behave and react, some memories we would rather not have, and some that appear as a fog without any semblance of meaning at all. The memory of that bear, however, always guides my thinking about giving to others and not expecting or wanting anything in return.
Acts of Kindness
A great part of life is, in my mind, to create happy memories for others and, at the same time, the creation of happy memories for others makes me feel more human and brings a special meaning to what life should be. For those who are fortunate enough to realize and live this philosophy of life, I say this: you receive more than you give, and help make other peoples' lives much more enriched with your acts of kindness whether that be your gift of time, mentoring, or volunteering your time and energy.
Inspirational Quotes To Consider
"Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come. Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future." Mattie Stepanek
"History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man." Percy Bysshe Shelley
"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you." Princess Diana
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