I have a friend who makes a profound difference in my life. She’s one of my greatest blessings. I’ve been reflecting on what it is about her that causes me to leave her presence more hopeful, happy, and confident -- ready to tackle life with fresh optimism, writes Linda Kavelin-Popov.
It has everything to do with virtues.
She sees me through a lens of virtues, never judging
even when I reveal one of my many “teachable moments”, always seeing the best
in me. She listens with compassion and understanding. She speaks virtues
language, acknowledging me for the good she sees in me. She’s willing to be
open and share her own journey as well. We enjoy a good laugh, but tears are
acceptable as well.
Do you have a friend like this? Are you a friend like
this? Even more important, are you a parent or grandparent with these qualities?
The scriptures of the world say that the very fruitage of our lives is in our
virtues – our love, patience, service, self-control, and many others.
“To live a life worthy of the calling you have
received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one
another in love.Make every effort to keep the
unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians
To live by this high
calling, we need to take these holy words to heart. Honestly speaking, they are
not only what it means to be a good friend, a good partner, a good person, a
good parent; they are the portal to our own wellbeing and mental health.
The awesome truth is that
at any time in our lives, we have the God-given free will to choose them.
Recently my husband and I
had the honour of being invited to a family meeting here. Afterwards I went up
to the papa who chaired it to thank him for his peaceful presence and orderly
leadership, running the meeting and overseeing the plan that everyone agreed
to. In that role he kept “the unity of the Spirit”.
The Bahai teachings say, “Be ye sincerely kind, not in appearance only. Let each one of God’s
loved ones centre his attention on this: to be the Lord’s mercy to man; to be
the Lord’s grace. Let him do some good to every person whose path he crosseth,
and be of some benefit to him.”
I experience many
moments of grace here in paradise. The other day while shopping, I saw a woman I
hardly knew. She looked into my eyes with kindness, took the flower from her
hair and tucked it behind my ear.
“You wear this today,”
she said, after sincerely asking me, “Pe’ea koe” (How are you?) and then told
me she liked the “stories” in my column.
Ghandi said, “The
fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.”
The fragrance of that
moment of grace remained with me all day. I hope it brought joy to her as well.
Making a difference can be as simple as one small act of kindness or the loyal
support of a friendship sustained over many years. It’s the true fruit of the