Sep 26, 2007

One of my friends, let's call him Jose, is one of those guys who doesn't even need to say anything and people will just feel comfortable in his presence. He is an amazingly compassionate guy, who will flat out tell you that his purpose in life is to bring more beauty on this planet. No, if's, and's, but's ... clear and simple, unwavering in his life mission. He doesn't need to convince anyone and he can't be swayed from it by anyone else.

It's a funny story about how he learned his initial lesson of compassion.

He was madly in love with his high school sweet-heart for many years. He would do anything for her and she was the most important thing in the world to him. Until ... she left him oneday (perhaps she cheated on him before that). It hit him like a bucket of cold water. Never before had he encountered such a loss and he didn't know what to do. He was roaming aimlessly through life, doing his actions mechanically, he was totally confused and lost. He had no idea where to go for help.

One day, he was chatting with his mom and all his inner conflicts and complexes came up. His mom gave him a remedy that changed his life FOREVER. What did his mom say?

"Son, your medicine should be that you do an anonymous act of kindness every single day. In sharing unconditional love with others, you will find that the love in your life with grow."

Jose was a bit unsure but he was ready to try anything. So he started with little things like pulling weeds out of someone's lawn, using a dollar from his allowance to pay toll for the car behind him, and leaving a nice note on someone's windshield.

Soon enough, a funny transformation occured. He would wake up every morning and look forward to thinking of a new way to do an anonymous act of kindness. Some days, it would be hard to think of something new but he really took to it. Jose would continue this for years and years. And he was so filled with that love that he shared that he started giving more and more. In fact, in trying to help a random girl from some not-so-friendly drunk guy, he met his wife! But he started giving so much that he didn't have much for himself. I mean, literally. He would give away everything he's got. Again and again.

As a result of his kindness, Jose lives on very little. He is month to month with his finances but he doesn't care. You can wake him up in the middle of the night and he'll tell you his life purpose, loud and clear -- to bring more love on earth. And his mom has already showed him the way.

I happened to meet this guy through some random coincidences. We became good friends and we work on many projects together. But it always hit me, to the core of my being, how this brilliant, relentlessly hardworking, creative, angelic person has so little by way of material possessions. I know he could get any job he puts his mind to -- he was once offered a job that payed him in seven figures but money's just not his currency -- but he still doesn't have a job. I never bothered to ask him why, since I figured I could guess the answer.

Jose has an old dark blue truck that he drives around. At one point, I noticed that his truck's tires were ripped and in dangerous condition. One of them had a plug on the side, which could explode at any time. Given his priorities, there is no way he could afford to replace the tires. So he would just drive less. I don't know what he was planning on or perhaps he was just waiting for nature to respond to his needs, as it always does. But I looked at it and immediately thought that I should do something.

So, one day, I asked to borrow his truck. Without any questions, he gave me the keys, assuming that I must have had a good reason. I took it to the shop and changed all four of the tires on his truck! When I brought it back, he noticed the brand-spankin' new tires and was totally flabergasted!! I mean, he didn't know what to say -- he certainly couldn't offer to pay me back, he couldn't ask me to take the tires home with me :), nor could he reject another person's act of kindness, whose value he knows from his own experience! It was almost like that cold bucket of water was being dropped on him once again.

I smiled. And he smiled back. No words were exchanged but it was clear that our hearts met. I put the keys in his hands and made a fist and said "Thank you for allowing me the chance." I knew I was blessed to have to the opportunity to give anything to such a selfless, anonymous server of the world. He knew where I was coming from and accepted it. He replied, "You know that I'm gonna send all this love back to the world a hundred times over." I said, "I know."

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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."