Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pep Talk: "Deeds versus Intentions"

We’ve all heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another’s treasure.” Do you believe it’s true? I sure do.

That was the thought running through the mind of a simple dude from Missouri as four devotees of Lakewood, Colorado-based Hospice of Saint John transferred a big pile of household goods from my garage to their trucks. As the second oldest free-standing hospice in the country, this organization has built a reputation in skilled, compassionate care, providing service regardless of age, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or the ability to pay. In fact, the Hospice of Saint John accepts the highest percentage of uninsured and under-insured patients in the Centennial State. Good for them.

Anyway, recently the hospice created a program where others can “clean out the clutter” and donate household goods that are turned over for recycling and the non profit, founded in 1977, receives revenue based upon the total weight of the junk donated. After almost 20 years in the same home, I had a lot of junk and was grateful to get rid of it.

The process of cleaning out the clutter was an interesting exercise. It became a fun banter topic with an alley neighbor who would, upon us seeing one another on weekends, mutter, “There’s no way anybody’s going to be interested in that!” as items - toys, art, tools and other stuff - were placed in the alley for others to snatch. 

It was also an emotional journey as cherished family pictures, the kids’ class projects and other keepsakes were unearthed from a storage area above the garage that had become a dumping ground for “stuff.” Cleansing can be cathartic!

So as the five of us celebrated the trash, or is it treasure?, transfer with ice-cold sodas from the garage refrigerator, thoughts switched to another neighbor encountered earlier in the week while working to extract gold from the two-decades deposit of household minerals.

“Those fans you put out the other day are really helping keep the house cool,” mentioned the long-time neighbor and friend who resides next door. “Thanks man.”

You bet buddy.

Perhaps this Pep Talk comes down to this: This week, let’s remember there are usually plenty of opportunities to invest our time, talents, treasures or, in this case, trash in service and benefit to others. I do believe we think about doing good for others a lot but then that darn thing called life, with its unexpected and unwanted distractions, derails us from executing our plan.

It makes me think of another old, but true, saying that offers, “The road is paved with good intentions.” It’s our job to transform intentions into actions considering it’s also true the smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.

Deeds versus intentions. It’s a choice. Let’s encourage one another to choose the former whenever possible, K?

Have a good week!

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