Nourish relationships and self-care

Empathy works. It always does.

Stuart is my role model

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When is the last time you heard someone say: “Peter? Peter is highly successful. He did very well for himself. He opened his heart, speaks in a way that encourages others, learned to transform his anger in requests, and listens to his friend when she is down and out.”

I never did.

Such things are usually not counted as accomplishments, as something others are impressed by and want to copy.

When we talk about success we usually talk about careers, houses, cars, maybe fame, hopefully a stable family life, although we would not say “Margaret she did SO well: her husband loves her SO much!”

Yet, most possessions don’t go into the grave. And even if they do, they are mainly interesting and valuable to archaeologists 1000, 2000 years from now, not so much to you. The only thing we take into our grave are our intentions and efforts. Financial enoughness can help us stay more focused on those -because we are less distracted by survival struggle- and that’s all.

Image courtesy to FlickrLet me tell you about Stuart.

I met Stuart four years ago, when he asked me for money as I waited for the traffic light. He walks with braces on both legs, which -of course- makes it harder for him to reach cars in time and receive what’s been offered. He had polio when he was one, didn’t receive much support during life, managed to find work on only a high school diploma, and finally got fired from his last job, because he couldn’t climb the ladder anymore. I never heard him complain. He always told me that every situation is an opportunity to thank G*d for support and love. He received every dollar with gratitude and grace.

Can you imagine the world we would create if we’d call people like him successful? How would your life be if he is your role model for modesty, gratitude, and trust? Can you imagine the big smile, appreciation, and openness we all would have?

Yum.

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You want help to live of life of love, openness, and gratitude even under challenging circumstances? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary discovery session.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping professionals schedule time for relationships and self-care. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

6 thoughts on “Stuart is my role model

  1. miss elly. my role model is hilbrand. you have met him several times. he doesnot want internet, he does not read a newspaper, he doesnot invite everyone, he is happy to go on the street and has Always a nice word for everyone. he doesnot want any pressure, he cannot deal with it. he has created his small world in a little village with very little money and finds every day good enough. in the beginning i thought him to be selfish but i found out he is most of all honest to hisself and his limitations. after every talk on the street he is tired but also thankfull. due to his humour he deals with his life, a life with no job and lots of judgments from lots of people around him. even though he is not religious, he is convinced that God is his friend. and I am so happy he wants to be my friend. better yet: he wants to be my boyfriend!

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    • I felt touched when I read your comment weeks ago, and rereading it today I feel touched again. I read your admiration and fondness of Hilbrand, and how he is a source of inspiration to live a life true to yourself, honoring your limitations, and being thankful for who you are and what you have. Is that it?
      Tonight we talked about my choice to hardly read newspapers or watch the news, and instead focus on learning more about myself and my loved ones. I think that is the same path Hilbrand is traveling. The Greek philosopher Socrates urged us to “Know thyself” as a basis for wisdom. I believe Jesus and the Buddha do the same. I am not sure if my world is shrinking, or that I go deeper in a small area. It is a journey that fits me, as I am noticing that I have little resources to cope with much more.
      I love you. Thank you for stopping by today.

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  2. Simplicity at it’s finest hour. I stopped looking at success in the material world a few years ago. I am happier to be a simple man. I live by the code, “keep it simple stupid.” To see someone so grateful as Stuart, so full of gratitude for each day, makes me think that I have taken life far too serious. I know when I am happiest is when it’s simple. This is a wonderful post Miss Elly, thank you for sharing it.

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  3. What a very thought provoking I and insightful post. Thank you

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