short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Share with Others

Closely related to asking for help and revealing one's incompetence is helping others by sharing knowledge, time, or experience. So many times we walk away without sharing, and thus we miss out on many warm memories.

My husband, Donnie, and I have very pleasant memories from our days as outdoor counselors for a Girl Scout troop. Those memories are memorialized in the form of a handmade plaque given to us by the girls. On it, they painted the proverb attributed to the Chinese (but the Chinese tell me it is not theirs): "Give me a fish, and I eat for a day; teach me to fish, and I eat for a life time."

We certainly had taught them the basics of fishing. As a former forester, Donnie had also taught the girls much forest lore. We did the normal Girl Scouting activities: camping, hiking, and the like. In addition, we did some rather unusual outdoor activities, especially for elementary-school girls. They took backpacking trips of multiple days' duration. They spent part of a week canoeing the Allegheny River from start to finish, camping out along the way wherever they could. We ensured that they knew first aid and other survival skills and could cope with weather.

At one rainy day staff meeting at the Girl Scout lodge, one leader came in late and expressed surprise that she had gone past a lake on the way where there were girls paddling canoes and swimming around overturned canoes in the middle of the lake in the pouring rain. The ranger said to her, "Let me guess -- Troop 151." (Yes, it was Trooop 151, our troop. We were ensuring that the girls could handle canoe tippings before taking them on the river.

The elementary school teacher was a little concerned that the girls took a day off from school in order to complete a three-day outing. The concern was that the girls would not be prepared for their ecology test on Monday. What the teacher failed to realize was that the girls were living according to principles of ecology and experiencing ecology in real-life environments. Every one of those girls got an A on her ecology test.

Seeing those girls learn and succeed built unforgettable and warm memories for us. Although we were new to the neighborhood, we quickly became friends with the parents of many of the girls. Recently, the parents of two of the girls looked us up when they came to California for a visit.

There are few greater rewards than the gratitude of children. There are no greater memories than those that come from sharing oneself in some way with someone else. I think the girls learned that, too.


Excerpted and adapted from a collection of vignettes, copyright 2003.

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About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.