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Chasing Down The Muse: Generosity an easy but worthwhile gift

September 15, 2011|By Cherril Doty

"Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do."

—Khalil Gibran

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The past few days have brought a host of generous, thoughtful and compassionate gifts into my world. It reminds me of the many wonderful people that are in each of our lives, giving in so many small ways.

Oh sure, there are those folks — most of us have some around, at least occasionally — who talk a good line, but when it comes right down to it do not put themselves out for others much at all.

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On the other hand, I have personally witnessed some exceptional people at work being generous in recent days. Though their acts of generosity have been done in a completely selfless manner, they deserve a big hurrah in my book.

The first act of generous giving was a huge surprise. I was at work at the Sawdust Studio Art Classes just after lunch, waiting for the afternoon class to begin.

A delightful couple — Cliff and Sharon — from northern California had been there in the morning for Maggie Spencer's fused glass class. They had a good time and had decided to return after a lunch at Laguna Culinary Arts to take Erin Elowe's water casting class.

The couple came back a little early, and we struck up a conversation about a variety of things. I said something about not doing sculptural work any longer because of the pain in my left hand, which I assume is due to arthritic changes.

Cliff politely asked, "May I?" and took my hand in his. Almost immediately I could feel the change as he manipulated my hand, explaining as he went.

To make a long story short, Cliff generously spent nearly 40 minutes on my hands and arms, breaking up the calcium deposits and instructing me as he went. Wow! Think what I would have had to pay for this open-hearted gift of healing hands.

The next gift was not such a surprise. A student and friend had offered to give my 4-year-old grandson Hank and me a tour of the Manhattan Beach police and fire departments. The surprise was that it was all so much more than anticipated, with patient, loving folks giving of their time to make the event a whopper in the eyes of both the 4-year-old and his grandmother.

The day never let up, with generous and good-spirited people everywhere we went. It all made the long day really memorable for both of us. I'm sure Hank is still telling everyone all about the thrills of the day. I know I am.

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