True charity requires courage: Let us overcome the fear of getting our hands dirty so as to help those in need.
- Pope Francis
I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Guideposts family, as you readers are. Like you, I have the opportunity to read inspirational messages from many people. Like you, I try to incorporate these messages into my life on a daily basis. Some days that’s more seamless than others. Perhaps you would agree.
Back in June I blogged about outreach in its many different forms and how we, as members of our communities, big and small, can reach out to others in ways that have the potential to enrich their lives.
I recently read a letter written by my grandfather, Norman Vincent Peale, to friends of Guideposts. The letter is called “Slow Down—and Enjoy Life.” Certainly a recipe that I was excited to try to incorporate into my own busy life! Grandpa suggests that to be “a happier, healthier and more productive person, you have to drop tension in your lifestyle.”
He gives three suggestions: 1) Develop your faith, integrating God into every part of your thinking. 2) Cultivate stillness in your mind, soul and physical self. 3) Take time for fun, allowing for spontaneity and a view of life through the eyes of a child. The more we focus on and practice these steps, he says, the more we will naturally find happiness, health and productivity in our lives.
I could not agree more! I also know that it is not always easy to do and I am grateful for reminders of how to fill myself up in order to give to my world and to others. Reminders like Grandpa’s letter and the inspirational stories and messages I get from Guideposts magazine, Guideposts.org and Guideposts Outreach.
I think it is also very important to acknowledge those times when we face challenges and sorrows and struggle to find happiness, health, peace and productivity in our lives. It is at these times that we need to be good to ourselves—and allow others to acknowledge our hardship and to reach out to us. As Albert Schweitzer wrote, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
In June, I challenged us all to give of ourselves to others. Here’s a new challenge, inspired by my grandfather’s suggestions: Develop your faith, cultivate stillness and take time for fun—all in order to be best able to give to others. And don’t forget to allow yourself the opportunity to be touched by others, to be sparked by the outreach of another when you are in need. I look forward to taking on these challenges myself.
Katheryn (Katie) Allen Berlandi is the seventh of Guideposts cofounders Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Ruth Stafford Peale’s eight grandchildren. She is a clinical social worker with a private practice focusing on children, adolescents and families, and a consultant for Guideposts and the Guideposts Foundation. Katie lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters and son.