Just Another Magic Wednesday :)

Mar 23, 2013

We had another sacred Awakin gathering last week.

Mia opened with a profound opening retelling a story of her insights when someone told her, "You're a teacher for these kids because you didn't have a great teachers growing up. You're using them for your personal growth." One person said the reading made him rethink the charitable donation deduction column on his tax return. "If I donate my daughter's old clothes and toys, is that really charity? Even my monthly contribution to GreenPeace is from money I may not need. Is that charity? After some serious thought, I decided to put zero in that column and not claim anything." Dimple said, "I've realized that I've helped many but the bar of 'serving' for me was when I volunteered at Karma Kitchen."

Every week is a very different crowd of 65 folks, with lots of first-timers.  Nathan, a fifteen year old coming for the first time, spoke candidly about helping a lost dog and suggesting that feeling the happiness of helping isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It was Venkat's first (and likely last) time attending, as he finished up his 13-year PhD in physics. :)  He insisted on doing dishes as his expression of gratitude after having remotely benefited from ServiceSpace for so long; "I will cherish this day forever," he later wrote. Michelle was another first timer; she runs a big effort to bring together 30 thousand local businesses around the country. Every month, she's local for few days and she's now going to plan it around Wednesdays. Sudhir, who runs a FB group with 210 thousand followers, also attended for the first time because of his wife's client's husband recommendation. As a first timer, Joanna probably took the cake when she said, "This is my first time here, my first week here, but I want you to know that I'm sixty and I've moved here all the way from Colorado because of all of you." She wasn't exaggerating. "Something is happening here," she concluded.

The stories are just stunning. Jo giggled to note that four men in a row pre-empted Pancho (who is known for this) to say, "I love you all" (including a first from her husband, who is otherwise doing left-brain gymnastics for his AI company).  Maria posted a poem about her experience; our freshman intern from last year, Dillan, wrote a note saying: "I wanted to share that the wisdom you all have shared has impacted me my life for the better, in a very great way. I can not thank you enough for these gifts you have given me in life."  Ramya opened up to a new dimension of service after learning about Audrey's gratitude walk, and Jose reminded us all, "As an at-risk youth, I have experienced a lot. And I've learned to not take my gifts, like all of you, for granted.  Thank you."  That's a great reminder for hosts, guests, and everyone in between.

By the time, we finish telling stories of an Awakin Wednesday, my parents have already started prepping veggies for next week's offering.  The beat goes on -- now in 62 homes around the world.

I was recently asked, "If someone were to ask you what difference all this kindness makes in the world, what would you say?"  I would tell them, "Let's chat AFTER an Awakin gathering. :)"  We still may not have an answer to the question, but the question itself might've become irrelevant.

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"Service doesn't start when you have something to give; it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."

"Real privilege lies in knowing that you have enough."