This year on 18 July – Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday – the UN is joining a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of our time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.
Sixty Seven Minutes! That’s all that this Nobel Peace prize winner has asked of us to help change the world. What could we do in such a short time that would be productive?
We could read to a child. We could serve soup at a shelter. We could donate blood. We could take our therapy dog to visit those who are ill. We could donate our usable goods to any number of charities. We could take the time to get to know our neighbors.
Today I began to make an Apple Pie and almost immediately I thought of Dave. I knew that he’d had a stroke but I had not yet visited him. I wondered if Dave would even be able to eat the pie that I’d made him. But since I was pretty sure that Dave was today’s pie recipient, I went to the place where he is currently staying and walked to his room.
When he saw me he had a questioning look on his face. I introduced myself and repeated something he’d once told me “Your wife is in love with my husband.” Well, Dave took one look at the pie and said, “And I think that I’m in love with you!” Warm Apple pies have that kind of effect on people.
It was wonderful to visit with Dave and his wife this afternoon. I don’t know if this is what Nelson Mandela had in mind, but I do know that I felt better after my visit. It took such a small effort and yet the rewards were tremendous.
If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. Buddhist saying.