I do not plan to make a habit of linking to other writers’ blogs, but this one resonates – and my longtime friend Liz Knapp Healy uncovered a good dose of serendipity in getting it to me.
I was recently waiting at a green light, letting a very long funeral procession cross through the intersection in front of me, when a pickup truck behind me swerved around my left (into the oncoming lane), honked, forced its way through the procession, and sped away down the street.
I have spent the past few days working hard to see how to simplify my life and in the process encountered a quote from the French-born Etienne de Grellet.
He was born in 1773 into lower royalty, educated appropriately for his station, and called to serve King Louis XVI in the years leading up to the Revolution that began shortly after we in the U.S. had settled the wrangling over our Constitution. De Grellet narrowly escaped execution in Paris and fled to our soil, where he changed his given name to Stephen and joined the society of Friends, becoming a Quaker missionary; he spent the rest of his life in prisons and hospitals, bringing comfort to the afflicted, and recording his ideas.
“I shall pass this way but once,” he wrote during that period. “Any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now.”
I believe a good dose of this thinking might persuade us to not break through a funeral procession.
I believe reading this blog post by the Rev. Cindy Maddox, senior pastor of the First Congregational Church of South Portland, Maine, might persuade us of the same.
That is, if we needed to be persuaded in the first place.