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Reflections: A Helping Hand…

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“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it’s the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friend.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflections: A Helping Hand… The harpist‘s hand

Hariprasad ChaurasiaRaag Shivanjali

I’ve been thinking about hands lately… As all those brilliant posts on “Hands,” for the photo challenge, fly through the blogosphere, we get a moment to reflect on the subject. What do we appreciate most about our hands? I’ve been using mine a lot of late as I continue to play catch up with your blog posts, tinker around the house, write a lot and pray… Also as gardening season is upon us, getting our hands in the earth and doing some weeding and planting will do us all some good. But the point of this post is really about the power of a helping hand; the hand that helps and uplifts another. How often do we extend our hand? When do we reach out to others for help? Hariprasad’s uplifting, meditative music will set the right mood as you read this. Below, I will share a story about the power of a helping hand…

“Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children.” Albert Einstein

Reflections: A Helping Hand… The Buddha‘s hands (Kamakura Daibutsu)

A story about hands that has stayed with me is a popular one you might have heard too. One of my teachers shared it. Once, a man had a dream in which he found himself in hell. The hell of his dream was not made of fire and brimstone but of a banquet table filled to the brim with all his favorite foods. He was permitted to eat the food as long as he used an extra long spoon that was impossible to lift and sheer hell to feed with. In the dream, he and many others sat at the banquet table weeping and lamenting the tragedy of being in the presence of food they could not feed themselves. They cried bitterly, as they sat and stared at all their favorite foods go to waste, because they couldn’t lift that gigantic spoon to feed themselves a morsel of manna. He was shocked and joined in the lamentations. When he woke from this nightmare, he sat and pondered it. More on the story below!

“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” William Blake

Reflections: A Helping Hand… helping hands

The next night, he fell asleep and found himself in the same place. We may call it a modified hell, heaven, or the place where care meets compassion and actions bear fruit. Again, he was presented with the banquet of exquisite foods, and the challenge to eat it with the extra long and equally heavy spoon. As the man approached the banquet table, he suddenly stopped, gasped, blinked his eyes, and then rubbed them to be sure he wasn’t hallucinating. He blinked because the sight before him made him weep … not sadly but joyfully.  What did he see? Around the banquet table sat many of the same people from the night before. They had figured out that if each of them joined forces with others, lifted the spoon and took turns picking up the delicious food, they could serve and feed each other and not starve. So he watched them feed each other and soon joined in, taking his place at the table and extending a hand to lift that spoon and feed his fellow man. By extending a helping hand in what could have been a hellish situation … to starve in the presence of abundance … they learned a profound lesson that remains a mystery to the greedy on this earth. What lesson did they learn? Ponder it. May we all be blessed by the divine within and without.

What about you? What are your thoughts? Do you need a helping hand? When do you extend a helping hand? What helps you remember to share and care? What impact might it have on your life? Do share! Thank you. 😉

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience! 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: Extend a hand to help another… you never know when you’d need one too.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All photos harpist hands, Buddha’s hands, helping hands, healing hands via Wikipedia via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

47 Comments leave one →
  1. 21/05/2012 1:25 am

    And may the hand we extend to help another, bless and keep us.

  2. 21/05/2012 2:15 am

    related to the topic HELPING HANDS my reflections are often wandering to the subject immigration – emigration – migration – as written today: AFRICAN immigrants

    • 21/05/2012 8:17 pm

      TY for your feedback and I have left a comment on your post on the boat people from the continent… It’s a complex situation with many players; overt and covert.

  3. 21/05/2012 2:23 am

    It made me remember being given a little child’s harp when I was around 7!

    • 21/05/2012 8:18 pm

      Do you still play it? Such a beautiful instrument. 😉

      • 21/05/2012 8:20 pm

        No – I don’t even know what happened to it. I want to find one now!

      • 21/05/2012 8:23 pm

        Go for it then! 🙂

  4. 21/05/2012 3:12 am

    Great reminder that the service of others is the service of ourselves. 🙂

  5. 21/05/2012 6:44 am

    In Ghana, we say, the left hand bathes the right and the right hand bathe the left. I am happy to nominate you for the Sunshine Award. Do check out rttp:// for rules on acceptance

    • 21/05/2012 8:21 pm

      Congratulations and thanks again for including my blog on your list even as I slowly march towards your homepage, one alphabet at a time. 🙂

  6. 21/05/2012 6:51 am

    Sorry, it’s

    • 21/05/2012 7:48 pm

      TY dear one! I will stop by your blog to thank you again! 🙂

  7. 21/05/2012 9:37 am

    Loved this post including the Einstein quote and story from your teacher. Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

    • 21/05/2012 8:57 pm

      TY for your feedback Karen… I’ve always loved that story. 🙂

  8. 21/05/2012 9:44 am

    I could use a helping hand this time around.

    • 21/05/2012 3:42 pm

      How may we be of help? Blessings to you… 🙂

  9. 21/05/2012 9:55 am

    Beautiful post, including wonderful quotes and music, and your thoughts and sharing of a most profound and enlightening story. Thank you!

    • 21/05/2012 8:58 pm

      TY! I’m glad you love it as much as I do. 😉

  10. 21/05/2012 10:18 am

    Beautiful, inspiring post. 🙂

  11. 21/05/2012 10:32 am

    Like yourself, I play catch up with the blogs I follow. It always seem to me that I choose to catch up with yours right when I need it most. I have a lot of hands helping me right now in my job search and am so grateful. I’m using my hands more and more for my photography. My garden is growing like a wild thing because of the dirt on my hands. And it is those held, busy, dirty hands that write this note of thanks :).

  12. 21/05/2012 10:33 am

    Reblogged this on mycreativevoice and commented:
    The perfect reminder of how giving and receiving a helping hand makes our world better.

  13. 21/05/2012 11:48 am

    What a lovely interpretation of ‘Hands’!

    • 21/05/2012 9:07 pm

      TY Madhu! The photo challenge got me thinking and after I completed mine, I felt a pull to explore the topic again in another way. 🙂

  14. 21/05/2012 12:56 pm

    What a wonderful story–I hadn’t heard it before. As always, you provide a good reason to pause and reflect. Thank you! 🙂

  15. babs50nfab permalink
    21/05/2012 1:53 pm

    I’ve always been hesitant to ask for a helping hand but always ready willing and able to give it. I’m getting better at receiving.

    • 21/05/2012 9:16 pm

      Good for you! It is a dilemma for some to give and receive but we need both. 🙂

  16. 21/05/2012 3:18 pm

    Helping hands moved by loving hearts. A helping hand motivated by a friend who believes in you and trusts you. Very moving and heavenly, indeed!

    • 21/05/2012 9:21 pm

      TY Granbee! I love your interpretation too! 🙂

  17. 21/05/2012 10:29 pm

    I enjoyed the “hands posts” more than any others, I think! Our hands are so connected to our personalities. We talk with our hands, comfort with our hands and conversely some hurt with hands. Maybe they express what comes from our heart. I love the quotes you’ve shared…especially the Einstein quote. 🙂 Debra

    • 22/05/2012 6:41 pm

      TY Debra! I enjoyed it too but not sure it was as great a hit with my overall readers. Perhaps it is a subject much covered? IDK but enjoyed it too. TY! 🙂

  18. 23/05/2012 4:14 am

    What wonderful music by Raag. Thanks

    • 23/05/2012 8:51 pm

      TY Bluebee! Hariprasad is a genius and has won many awards for his skill on the bansuri, the Indian bamboo flute.

  19. 23/05/2012 6:35 am

    Again Liz, as I commented in your other post. I feel the need to reach out. To see if someone is alright. But I am afraid. I feel safe not doing so. Sad and selfish. Like I am not doing what a compassion man would do. I thank you for this post. It is encouraging. Even if I do not act directly, I will send prayers to my friend.

    • 23/05/2012 8:54 pm

      Please reach out… even if it is to leave a simple message saying “I am thinking of you! ” If you sense their pain then act… don’t leave it be as spirit might be calling you to intervene or show your concern/support for their well-being. Go for it without expectations of the outcome. Prayers and blessings!

  20. 24/05/2012 2:01 am

    Beautiful thoughts and the music of Hariprasad Chaurasia – Raag Shivanjali is so haunting!

    • 24/05/2012 2:44 am

      Yes, TY! He is an amazing musician and I love this raag… it is haunting. 😉

  21. 24/05/2012 3:46 am

    I’m lending a helping hand – as much as I can – at the moment trying to get our government to free a young pregnant mother from detention. Terrible situation. I have to be careful where I direct my energies, as I have so little time available these days.

    • 25/05/2012 8:24 pm

      Take it easy Robin… Perhaps my latest post on emotional vampires would help with your choices. It is great to help but self care is imperative… Sorry to read about the young lady and pray it gets resolved for her too. TY! 🙂

      • 26/05/2012 3:54 pm

        Yes, I know I have to be careful. And I am. No protest marches for me, I am just lending my voice. And my writing.

  22. 24/05/2012 9:24 pm

    Inspiring with a so much to give. We are blessed in so many ways thus we also need to share those blessings. It starts with a generous heart, and the hand follows. The more we give in love and faith, the more we move one step closer to heaven.

    • 25/05/2012 8:26 pm

      So true and I wish all will learn the blessing of that statement… “The more we give in love and faith, the more we move one step closer to heaven. ” TY! 🙂

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