Happy New Year!
This year for me has started with thoughts of leaving a legacy as I cherish memories of my grandma and two friends who just lost a battle with cancer this week.
As my brother shared,”To live in the hearts of those you leave behind is to live forever, ” so we can all live forever in the hearts of those we touch. Whether family, friends, associates or complete strangers, if we can give with a heart, we will be paying it forward and leaving a legacy as my grandmother did.
Today’s Inspiring Story
In the spirit of leaving a legacy, today I’d like to share an excerpt of an essay titled, “Less is More” written by my 12 year old daughter over the holidays.
At first I thought it was going to be a typical family vacation but soon after we arrived in Vietnam, I realized it was going to be much, much more.
The one thing that I really loved about Hanoi was that early in the morning there were groups of up to 100 people of all ages gathered to do Tai Chi or a dance routine, and people playing badminton on courts painted onto the sidewalk. The city and people were so alive…
What also amazed me was the overall happiness of everybody, especially in Cambodia. They were engaged in a brutal civil war which lasted for 20 years… The people instead of being depressed and bitter now, are just happy to have peace… They don’t need a lot to be happy. This is a really good lesson to learn because for lots of us in the United States we have too much stuff. I don’t think I should feel guilty about owning it, but instead help out and share when I can. I just need to be grateful that I am more fortunate than others.
For me the perfect example of sharing was in Vietnam when we were graciously invited into the home of a local village family. We were asked to sit down while they served us food and drink. They gave us a tour of their tiny home. I was amazed at how hospitable the family was even though we were complete strangers. It was a great example of how happy you could be no matter how much you did or didn’t have.
In Cambodia, we had gone to a village to distribute water filters for families without filtered water… We were greeted by a very big but happy family living with just a water pump, and drinking straight from the well. I was amazed because at home, we are all stressed out about our machine and alkaline and purified water. They were getting along pretty well with their pump and it was a good reminder that you don’t need lots of things to be happy. Sometimes, simplicity is the key.
This vacation turned out to be a lot more than I expected. This is the first time I have written an essay about any one of our trips and even though it has been more than a month since we came back I wanted to write so that I could remember just how thankful I felt.