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Sun Dec 9, 2018, 06:39 AM

The Circle of Life

I'm 46 years old. I tell people how old I am a lot on DU. I'm not sure why that is, other than I talk about a lot of stuff where it's relevant. I'm about as strong as I was when I was in my twenties, but my endurance isn't what it used to be. I get tired easier now days.

Anyway, I've been working a lot of over the past five months, averaging about 66 hours a week. I also have two hours a day commute time. So I haven't had the time or energy to take care of things around the house the way it needs to be. All the leaves were down out of the trees three weeks ago, but I haven't been able to get out there and rake them. So I decided to hire someone to do it for me. There's this young guy we know from church, I'd say he's around 25, who is very poor and looking for work. He picks up odd jobs as much as he can. So I got a hold of him and he was happy to have the work.

He came over yesterday and knocked it out in about two hours. It probably would have taken me twice that long and I would have had to spread it out over a couple of days. I gave him $40 to do it and he was very grateful. We also fed him and gave him some food to take with him. He said that was just as good as the money. Not only did I get something done that would have worn me out for two days, I got to feel good by doing something nice for someone.

I'm a trucker and it is cold now in the part of the country where I do my trucking. It was about 20 degrees F last night when I got out to my stop near Pittsburgh. There is a guy who is 74 years old who works for the same company that I do. We basically have the same route, I just have one more stop than he does. I don't know what this guy is doing driving a semi at that age. I don't think he needs the money. Anyway, the cold air really gets to his lungs. If he's out for too long in it, it really knocks him out. He'll struggle for 15 minutes to get his wind back after being out in cold weather for too long, and that isn't very long.

We came around to our docks at about the same time, him a little before me. I asked him if he needed some help. He was just sitting in his truck when he should have been out disconnecting it to drop it at the dock. He told me he needed a hand. I did the hard part while he did the easier part and we got it done. He was still terribly winded.

We went to a break room while he caught his breath. I told him I would meet him over at his loaded trailer, and told him to just stay in the truck. I'd take care of hooking up the trailer. He was very grateful. After I hooked him up he said that he really owed me. I told him not to worry about it, and that I'd help him anytime.

What does all of this have to do with Buddhism? Well, one day the young guy who raked my leaves will be busy at his job, and being in his 40s will have started to feel his age creeping up on him. He'll hire some young, struggling kid from church to rake his leaves for him, and they'll both be grateful. One day I'll be the old guy struggling at work and a younger driver will help me out. I'll be very grateful and he will feel good about doing something nice for someone. And the old guy? Well, one day he'll be raking someone's leaves.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:10 AM

1. You did some good things there

and hopefully it will be repaid with future acts of kindness. I subscribe to the theory "do what you can, where you can". We would all be better off if folks did so.

Yesterday I watched the ambulance take away the special needs teenager from next door (she had a seizure) called the Dad and offered to take the two younger boys in or come over and watch them. He declined as they would all be heading to the hospital together, but he knew someone was there to assist if needed.

As mentioned in previous responses to your threads on trucking, before retirement, I was a Receiver at a local grocery chain. So I know a bit of what you speak (certainly not all, but some). You have one of the more difficult jobs out there that requires great skill, patience and has a great degree of challenges. Hopefully they will get some more help soon and you can cut back from the workload.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:11 AM

2. I know how it feels

Im 60. I sleep till its nap time.. .

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:11 AM

3. The Circle of Life is the perfect title for your post, my dear Tobin.

What goes around, comes around...and the best part is we're helping each other.

Happy Holidays to you and your wife!

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:25 AM

4. How important, Tobin S., these simple acts of kindness.

Do a little good here, it spreads over there, then over there, then who knows where. Thanks for posting this. I found it very uplifting.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 08:28 AM

5. I'm stealing this from another poster,

 

The karma café has no menu, you get what you deserve.

I have read a lot about Buddhism, they have a very respectful philosophy. The thing is it isn't just Buddhism that teaches love of neighbor and our environment, Christianity teaches the same thing but as the sign says outside my small Pa. town, Keep Christ in Christmas, it makes me wonder when 4 out of 5 people in my district voted for Trump. Donald Trump is the opposite of who you are Tobin S. peace be with you.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 09:02 AM

6. Yes a circle that flows both ways. People helping older and younger. Thank you. . . . nt

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 09:03 AM

7. Showing kindness to others makes our world better.

You are a good man.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 09:15 AM

8. Your acts of kindness make the world a better place.

It made my day to read your post, so that’s another act of kindness you did.

I hope your workload gets easier soon. And I hope the kindness you give to the world comes back to you ten fold!

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 09:20 AM

9. Nice post. I guess you get out of someone's post what you can.

Last edited Sun Dec 9, 2018, 12:50 PM - Edit history (2)

I focus on the 74 year old. In my head, is he there because he needs the money? Probably. Or maybe he's just lonely and the job takes up empty time. Or maybe he was like a guy I worked with. Tommy and his wife saved and worked all their lives. Tommy drove a truck 6 days a week. They had a house, nice car and stuff.

That was good until their kid became a drug addict. They lost their house and savings on lawyers and rehabs. Tommy quit driving in his late 70's.

That brings me to the concern about this. Tommy shouldn't have been driving. He was on pain killers and somehow his physician didn't detect this or let it go. He also never got called for the "randoms." He's retired now and the roads are safer.

Your guy at the depot.... should he be driving?

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 12:38 PM

13. I'm not sure how he got by the physical last time.

I have confidence in his ability to drive the rig. I don't think he's a danger on the road. I've driven down the road with him and he's good.

I think he is more of a danger to himself. If one day this winter when the temperatures get down in the single digits and his truck breaks down and he loses engine power, he'd be in for a world of hurt. The lack of heat might well kill him if someone doesn't get out to him quickly.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 09:33 AM

10. You learned your lessons about life very well.

We all need help at some time. Those you helped will remember.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 11:02 AM

11. Also acceptance and non-resistance.

Goodness like yours is what can heal the world.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 12:34 PM

12. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR VERY KIND AND THOUGHTFUL REPLIES!

I appreciate all of them.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 12:42 PM

14. This morning I go to a funeral -

full-on military - for a 25 yr old kid who grew up with our daughter, who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving weekend. Sgt. LEANDRO JASSO. It was national news.

In a couple weeks I go to the service for a dear, beautiful friend who died at 71 after living a healthy life from multiple myeloma.

There is no sense in this.

It's why I'm here.

Thank you.

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