This story is really beautiful. It touched my heart.
It’s from Wayne Dyer’s Excuses Begone!
Allow me to conclude this chapter by telling you another story, this one concerning my daughter Sommer and me. As I was driving her to the airport for her return to college after a long weekend home, she was admiring my new watch. Now this was the first new timepiece I’d had in at least a decade. I really enjoyed looking at its shiny steel-and-black face, and as I did, I’d think about how this was my favorite watch of all time. Yet I knew in my heart that Sommer would love to wear it, since men’s watches seemed to be the current craze for young women.
As I dropped my daughter off at the curb and assisted her with her luggage, I was prompted to remove the watch and give it to her, even though it was my most prized possession (particularly since I have almost no possessions any longer that I even care about, let alone prize). Sommer’s response was, “No, Dad, you love this watch!” I insisted, telling her that I’d feel greater joy by giving it to her and knowing she’d treasure it. I also said that I felt it would symbolize our staying together in time, even though we’d be thousands of miles apart. She boarded her plane glowing, and I left feeling that I had grown immeasurably as a person, since such a compassionate act would have been very difficult, if not impossible, for me several years ago.
Sommer called me in Maui a few months later to tell me that she was sending me a present for Father’s Day, stressing that it was a very, very special gift. It turned out to be her all-time favorite painting that she’d created and had hung in her apartment for a long time. As she told me later: “I really learned something the day you gave me your beloved watch, and I wanted to give you something that’s my single most precious item. I’m giving it to you, Dad, even though it’s difficult to part with, because I want you to have a piece of me with you.”
The painting hangs proudly on my wall as a symbol of the beauty and perfection of reaching out compassionately in response to a felt moment. This personal story epitomizes and personalizes the response to Tolstoy’s three questions: (1) do it now, the only moment available; (2) do it with the person you’re with in the moment; and (3) do good, because that is why you’re here.
By being and living compassion, you invite and encourage others, just by your example, to choose to do the same.