Friday, January 4, 2013

365 Inspirations—Four: The Whos down in Whoville

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose 

 Sometimes it's easy to forget how much we have. The Whos are my inspiration today because they weren't going let their day be destroyed by the fact that the Grinch had stolen everything they had.

Two days ago, I went on a lovely sunlit walk with my husband in some beautiful woods near our house. I was enjoying three straight days of sunshine in Seattle. The sky was blue, the sun was high and the smell of pine was in the air. I felt happy to see the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound at the end of our walk. I felt invigorated.

When we got back to my car, my husband paused at the passenger side of the car and then said, "Do you have your wallet and your cell phone?"

"Yes, why?" I said, with a slight bit of concern.

"Well, you don't have a window anymore," he said.

I went over to the passenger side of my car and saw hundreds of shards of glass in the seat and and on the ground. Someone had smashed my window into dozens of little pieces and took my purse.

For some reason I was very calm. I looked at the window with a detachment that surprised me. Recently two friends were in a plane crash on Christmas. Both survived, but one was badly burned. After hearing the news, I couldn't shake the sadness I felt for my friends from my head and it made me realize that we really don't realize how much we actually have until it's gone. I'm not just talking about material things, I'm talking about the fact that we are breathing and alive. I'm talking about love, compassion, family and friends. I'm talking about the things that really matter.

 Perhaps that's the reason why I felt so indifferent to the smashed window. If anything, I felt sorry for the desperate person who felt the need to smash it. Perhaps the person was homeless or jobless or simply desperate. Unfortunately, for the thief, the purse didn't contain anything but a few receipts, a lipstick and some loose change.

When I got home, my husband got out the vacuum and the garbage can and cleaned up all the glass as I got ready for work. He even taped up my window. Seeing him doing this made me feel so much gratitude that he was there with me and eager to help me.

I drove to work and actually felt warm inside despite the cold air blowing through the window. For some reason I thought of the Whos in Whoville. They just popped into my head and I felt happy. I taught my first class of the quarter at the college (I'm an ESL teacher) and then drove home with the white garbage bag taped to my window flapping in the breeze. At one point, on my journey home, the bag became loose and was blowing out the window like the white flag of surrender.


  1. I would hope that I could react to a smashed window with the detachment and compassion that you did. This is a good reminder to treasure what we have now and recognize what's really important. I love the image of the white bag flying out the window like a flag of surrender!

  2. Thanks for commenting Tina! Yes, in a strange way I am thankful for the incident as it made me realize what is really important.

  3. I read this book every year to all my choir students and regardless of age, they love it.

    Glad that it was minimal damage and nothing of value was lost! And am also very glad that you're writing daily on-line! Thank you.

    1. I'm happy to be writing again too Laurie! (if not a little scared at how I'll do 365 again) The Whos have always been inspirations to me! Nice to see you here!

  4. learning to live in abundance it a beautiful challenge for us all
    will live in a half empty society
    and yet
    our glasses overflow

    love your perspective here
    it rings true to me

    love and light

  5. That's really great that you reacted with such calmness. We could all learn from the Whos in Whoville :)