Thursday, 2 May 2013

Just keep following the heartlines on your hand


source: Pinterest

Today I'm going to tell you a little story about an encounter I had last week that I've been replaying in my mind ever since.

I was in the main entrance of the hospital for a scheduled tiffin meeting with my colleague and on my way back from the cash machine I wandered past a man with a charity bucket who looked absolutely thrilled to pieces at the sight of me walking towards him with a £10 note in my hand. This man is there day in, day out collecting money and I must admit I've never given him any money before (I'd like to feebly blame this on the fact that I'm usually tearing through the doors of the hospital in a mad rush and also the sorry emptiness of my purse 99% of the time). But this time I felt terrible when I walked straight past him to the end of the Costa queue just a few steps away from him. After putting the world of oncology Learning Mentors to rights, we ended up staring at the little old man with his bright green bucket until guilt got the better of us and we decided to empty the change out of our purses and donate it to the charity bucket. 

The man wasn't even looking at us when we threw our money into the collection, but all of a sudden he sprang to life and gave us the biggest beaming smile I think I've ever seen. That was thanks enough for our little good deed of the day, but he was so thrilled about our donations that he ended up asking us all about what we did and telling us what a great job we were doing. My friend then turned to him and exclaimed that really it was him that was doing the good job really as he's stood there day after day raising money for the Children's Hospital as it takes some serious commitment to volunteer so much time to the hospital.  

He then explained to us that he'd started volunteering when he was 81 just after his wife had died. He felt as though he needed something meaningful to fill his days with now that he had nobody to spend his time with and so decided that fundraising would be an ideal way to give something back to other people and to have an excuse to get out and about every day. Two years on and he's raised over £50,000 and he's determined to double that figure.

Its so incredibly rare to see that level of commitment from anybody, let alone from an 83 year old man who spends his days holding a bucket whilst tonnes of people pass him by without a second glance. He's just happy when those occasional kind-hearted passers by decide to pause for a moment and give him a few pence as he gets to have a bit of a chat and get that little bit closer to reaching his fundraising goal. He was adamant that he wasn't doing anything special or difficult by bucket shaking, he just saw it as a good way to spend his time and stop himself from feeling lonely.

Now that is what life is all about. Making the most out of any situation, turning a tragedy into a positive experience and making every moment of life count in whatever way we can. Its no wonder I've been thinking about this short encounter so much, the man was such a massive inspiration- he's already lived his whole life but still chose to dedicate the rest of his life to helping a good cause. I'm not saying we should all go out, give up our day jobs and bucket shake for the rest of our lives, but I think its a great reminder that life is for living and that we should do whatever we can to make our days as meaningful and valuable as we can.

Heartlines- Florence and The Machine

11 comments:

  1. I love little stories like this, they always make me happy but also make me cry at the same time! xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. This I'd a lovely story, really inspiring! The woman in the cafe at work donates all the proceeds to a local children's hospice, she's raised nearly £100k, it's amazing!
    Lauren
    livinginaboxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a lovely, lovely story. I wonder what stories people could tell, people you don't think twice about because you're too busy with your day to day rush of life. There really is inspiration all around! Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  4. love this story, that wee man is an inspiration x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a lovely heartwarming story- really enjoyed reading it, he sounds like a lovely generous soul! xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awww, this is so heartwarming - he sounds like a lovely man. xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is lovely, so selfless. It's amazing how some people can alter your perspective, just like that. x

    that-bird.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my goodness Kaz how heartwarming! It just shows how time can be spent to make the world a better place. Well done for donating too, sounds like you both cheered each other right up :) <3 Claire @ Jazzpad

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is so brilliant!! How incredible that at that age he's chosen to do that, and raise such an amazing amount. To be honest though, I think both you and he are doing fantastic jobs. An oncology learning mentor is definitely inspiring too :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a lovely story! I never think of the background to the charity money raisers. I will do from now xxx

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was such a lovely story to read! And I bet he would be pleased to know that he inspired you guys too which is lovely! What an inspiration :)
    Saadiya x

    www.thatgirlsaadiya.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete