By Tanis Helliwell
True generosity grows in us as our heart opens. -Jack Kornfield
Treating Everyone with Love and Respect
Over the last few years I have asked thousands of people this question, “What did we have in the world ten years ago that you miss most now?” Their answer is always the same, “That I matter as an individual; that I’m not just a cog in the wheel; that people care for me as a person; that people know my name.” Sound familiar? In our fast paced technological world, we are becoming anonymous and losing our humanity. People feel they don’t matter anymore. Voice mail has replaced the human being, bank machines have replaced tellers and sex on the internet and on the telephone has replaced loving relationships. It is because our need to be loved is not being satisfied that one of the greatest trends in the next decade will be personal contact with our customers. If you need a marketing advantage for “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you,” there it is.
All of us have stories of acts of kindness but I’d like to share one of mine. Ten years ago when I became interested in ethical investment, I wrote to David Suzuki, the well-known Canadian environmentalist, and suggested that he might want to write a column on this topic. He wrote back, not a form letter but a handwritten card, where he responded to my suggestion and told me to keep up the good work. Not only do I still have this card but for the last three years I have worked with David and his wife Tara and the environmental foundation they founded. His card has translated into ten years of loyalty from me and I know that he has written thousands of personal cards to others. People need to feel recognized and appreciated and David has a gift for doing that.
Three Stages of Giving
Jack Kornfield, a Vipassana meditation teacher, talks about the three stages of generosity. The first stage is called tentative giving. We are fearful to give because we may be deprived later on. Yet, after our initial reluctance we experience the first joys of giving. In the second stage, brotherly or sisterly giving, we openly share what we have both in energy and material ways with others and experience joy and friendship in doing so. The most developed kind of generosity is royal giving. We delight in the welfare and happiness of all beings and give the best we have to them. We never consider scarcity and our hearts are abundant like kings and queens.
A school principal, who is a friend of mine, told me a story which exemplifies royal giving. Over a period of weeks, the staff room at her school accumulated more and more dirty dishes. Teachers with high cleanliness standards were bothered a great deal by this. Others—probably the culprits—appeared not to notice the problem. One of the teachers, without drawing attention to herself, started washing the dishes each night before leaving. The tension in the staff room was immediately eliminated by this act. When the principal pointed out that she didn’t have to do the dishes the teacher replied that she liked to create an atmosphere where everyone could feel comfortable. This teacher, through her small, consistent act of kindness, affected the lives of many others. She was not concerned with doing something that was beneath her and realized that soul work is what we do every minute of every day.
Kindness in Our Daily Lives
What matters is not to think much, but to love much. Teresa of Avila
Random acts of kindness are acts of love. Do we give our seat on the bus to someone who needs it more than we do? Do we hold open the door for those who follow? Do we give change to a street musician, who is bringing beauty into the world? Do we stop to talk to those less fortunate than ourselves? Do we thank people for what they do for us and show appreciation in many ways? All of these things, as well as assisting the elderly, being a good neighbour, playing with children and helping our community make the world better for us all.
Tanis Helliwell, a mystic in the modern world, has brought spiritual consciousness into the mainstream for over 30 years. Since childhood, she has seen and heard elementals, angels, and master teachers in higher dimensions. Tanis is the founder of the International Institute for Transformation (IIT), which offers programs to assist individuals to become conscious creators to work with the spiritual laws that govern our world.
Tanis is the author of The High Beings of Hawaii, Summer with the Leprechauns, Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns, Embraced by Love, Manifest Your Soul’s Purpose, Hybrids: So You Think You Are Human and Decoding Your Destiny.
For information on Tanis’ courses, click here.