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Embracing Opportunities July 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness, People.

170px-201008241206184375_MI came across this quote the other day:

I don’t believe that we have an *obligation* to help every single person we encounter.

I do believe that there is an *opportunity* to help every single person we encounter. 

Every.  Single.  Person.

~ Paul ((( The Ripples Guy )))

Kindness echoes.  Compassion fills our bucket, drop by drop.

* Do not overlook any good actions, thinking they are of no benefit; even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel.  ~ The Buddha

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related Posts:  Making Positive Waves ~ The Ripple Effect (T4D) * Kindness Is My Religion (Streams of Consciousness)



1. Val Boyko - July 30, 2014

What a lovely way to start the day. Thanks Nancy!

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

Thanks, Val. I feel more satisfied when I climb into bed at the end of the day if I’ve been a positive spark in the lives of others.

Sometimes all it takes is a big grin. Or a pithy quote. 😎

2. Jill Weatherholt - July 30, 2014

Very nice, Nancy! I feel sorry for people who don’t have compassion for others, they’re missing out on so much.

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

There are those who view me as lacking in compassion b/c I’m not always “nice” (saying what they WANT to hear). Instead, I strive to be “kind” (telling the truth as I see it).

So, if someone’s acting like an Eeyore and throwing a pity party for themselves because they have a “hang nail” (or some other petty problem), I’m apt to be the one to say, “pull up your big girl panties and deal with it,” instead of “oh, you poor thing.”

But I do it from a place of compassion.

Being “nice” can cripple people and turn them into victims, afraid to stand on their own two feet and deal with life.

Being kindly honest benefits them more in the long run, even if hearing the truth “stings” right now.

I suppose it’s the difference between tossing them a fish every time they’re hungry for a compliment vs. teaching them to use their internal G.P.S. to navigate through life. 😎

katecrimmins - July 30, 2014

I too am a fan of honesty. I either tell the truth or if I think it’s not the right moment, I keep my mouth shut. I am not a “poor baby” type of person (except for my cats of course). We do cripple people by not being honest.

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

Yes! We feed their addiction to pointless platitudes when we give them the “quick fix” they’re after. We become enablers, stunting their growth.

Far better to give them a reality check.

Unless, as you note, it’s not the right time because it would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Give them time to rebound and then encourage them to “snap out of it.”

3. bwcarey - July 30, 2014

leaving a positive impression shouldn’t be an issue for anyone, wise post

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

It shouldn’t be, but those who walk through life with a perpetual scowl on their face seem to have difficulty embracing the concept . . . especially if their nose is buried in their cell phone.

4. ashokbhatia - July 30, 2014

Good thought!

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

Thanks. What would the world be like if in every encounter we asked, “what can we offer?”

Or to say it another way: “What if seekers need only ask . . . how well did I love?”

5. Pix Under the Oaks - July 30, 2014

The Buddha.. Oh Yeah! While honesty might sting for a second, I would rather hear the honest truth and let me process it and learn a thing or two, or three, or more.. 😀

Pix Under the Oaks - July 30, 2014

Nancy, your Worth a Fly By on your sidebar, I know it’s a widget but I am confused by two. I have met some great bloggers from your widget. Could you tell me which one in the widget section it is?

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

It’s the “Posts I Like” widget that I renamed, “Worth a Fly By.”

And I asked it to display as a Grid.

Pix Under the Oaks - July 30, 2014

Thanks Nancy on the widget answer.. 🙂

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

I’m often surprised at how “resistant” some people are to hearing the plain unvarnished truth ~ even when they’ve asked us for our HONEST opinion. 😎

6. Don - July 30, 2014

Marvellous quote Nancy.

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

Glad it resonated, Don. I think I’ll adopt it as my “mantra” for the week ~> nothing like adding a bit of lightness to life’s loads.

7. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - July 30, 2014

I agree, there is an opportunity to help almost everyone we encounter – and not all help looks the same! 🙂

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

Yes! There are all different ways to assist.

Sometimes, it’s as easy as pointing someone in the right direction when they get turned around or blown off course.

8. Eric Tonningsen - July 30, 2014

Helpful and positive distinctions, Nancy!

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

Someone once made a universal statement that ALL adults have an obligation to look out for kids.

I challenged the statement:

Just because someone chooses to have kids doesn’t impose an obligation on ALL other adults to watch out for them.

The individual in question got annoyed that I made what I believed to be a “helpful and positive distinction.” 😎

Eric Tonningsen - July 30, 2014

I’m with you 100% on this one!

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

Thanks, Eric! If I’m to have an obligation imposed on my shoulders, I’d appreciate an opportunity for consultation first.

9. Grannymar - July 30, 2014

Every. Single. Person. Does that mean you can pass the married folk? 😉

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

Absolutely! They can look out for each other. :mrgreen:

10. Silver in the Barn - July 30, 2014

Hey Nancy, what I really like about this discussion is the concept of being kind vs. nice. Important distinction, I think. I struggle with both sometimes but try really hard to “try kindness first.”

nrhatch - July 30, 2014

Yes . . . because kindness matters! Thanks, Barbara.

11. In the Stillness of Willow Hill - July 31, 2014

I like your focus on the comparison between obligation and opportunity. It took me years to shake the stress of “obligations” put upon me by the church. I had to shake that word out of my vocabulary before I was ready to see all of the wonderful opportunities open to me each day.

nrhatch - July 31, 2014

Yes, the Church Ladies and Laddies treat us like sheep at times ~ trying to herd us into a mass of fluffy nonsense.

When people “should” all over me (especially when they are prone to saying “but you HAVE to . . . “), I remind them that there are really only 2 things we HAVE to do . . . Be Born & Die. The rest is opportunity, either realized or forfeited.

Of course, they “should” all over themselves too (saying things like, “I don’t want to XYZ, but I have no choice.”). They do, but they don’t see the choices staring them in the face.

12. jannatwrites - July 31, 2014

I like this. Opportunity signifies more of a willingness to do something – because we want to. Obligation is a have to. I have to work…. I have to pay my bills…I have to cook dinner… I have to clean house (okay, I don’t do that one nearly as much as I should!) I don’t want helping to be lumped into that category 🙂

nrhatch - July 31, 2014

I agree, Janna. For me, opportunity comes from an internal desire to give, while obligation is more of an external prodding.

Like a cattle prod. OUCH!

13. 2e0mca - July 31, 2014

Sadly… I feel that quote refers to the opportunity of making money out of someone else’s misfortune – 1st rule of business 😦 Sorry for being a cynic Nancy.

nrhatch - July 31, 2014

Why so cynical, Martin?

Here’s what he said AFTER the quote:

The lost ones, the frustrated ones, the nice ones and the mean ones. And the magnificent secret that I hesitate to share with you because we took a solemn oath at the last meeting of the “Benevolent Order of Those Who Strive To Be As Nice As Possible to Everyone We Encounter”: the person who benefits the most from all the helping is often YOU! Serving others feels great; it reminds us to be grateful for blessings that we take for granted, and as a bonus it replenishes our “karma credit card” so we can be in great shape to receive help from others just when we need it most.

Just remember that helping works best when it emanates not from a sense of duty or obligation, but instead from a source of joyous opportunity. So keep your eyes and ears open for a friend or colleague or stranger who needs you.


I expect that he would also be willing to help the cynical ones! 😎

2e0mca - August 1, 2014

Put my cynicism down to UK society post Margaret Thatcher and the greed culture she inspired 😦 Thanks for adding the details that followed the quote – puts flesh on the bones and clarifies the intentions wonderfully 🙂 I agree with the sentiment of the piece.

nrhatch - August 1, 2014

I come down with occasional bouts of cynicism myself:


Sometimes it’s a struggle to look on the bright side of life. But it’s worth it. After all, our happiness is at stake. 😎

14. kateshrewsday - August 1, 2014

Great quote, Nancy.

nrhatch - August 1, 2014

When someone EXPECTS me to do their bidding, I do what I can to thwart their efforts to rein me in ~> “this is MY life.”

When I see a need I can meet, I’m delighted to lend a hand.

15. sufilight - August 1, 2014

I love to see kindness expressed and generally express this. However, there are times when I may not be unkind but I don’t extend kindness if it doesn’t seem proper or I know it will not be well-received.

nrhatch - August 2, 2014

Good for you, Marie. Most of the time, kindness is rewarded with a smile . . . but not always.

Sometimes I get a SCOWL or a “mind your own business” from uber-stressed and uptight lads and lassies. I try not to carry their negativity with me past the nearest waste receptacle.

16. Three Well Beings - August 2, 2014

Kindness is so important to me. I often think that I can’t possibly respond in the way that might be expected EVERY time, but I can always be kind! Not to say that I never slip up, but I’m pretty good at going back and apologizing if I need to! 🙂

nrhatch - August 2, 2014

Your comment doesn’t surprise me a bit. You strike me as a very kind person, Debra. Your care and concern for people, pets, plants, and planet is evident from your comments.

Kindness is its own reward ~ we feel better, here and now, when we are kind.

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