This Christmas I received a most extraordinary gift I would like to share with all of you-about the power of actions toward another and our ability to help influence others and expand their thinking.
I spent this Christmas with my wife and her daughter (to whom I always refer lovingly as "my daughter."
I have known Danielle about 11 years, since she was about 17-18, and in many ways typical of that age.
As I have always been so aware of mistakes made by my parents I promised myself long ago that I would always do certain things in regard to her:
2-Always let her know that she could talk to me about anything and always trust me to ber honest and objective as possible
3-And that if we disagreed about things (as we did soooooooooooooo many times) I would never reject her
4-I would stress that we all live with the consequences of our decisions (and help her livewith hers)
5-And that I would always come from love, even if she didn't see it at the time.
I am a chef (mainly) because I believe ib the power and purpose of food---------being so I have spent my years with Daniell teaching her about better food and better wine, teaching her to be more discerning and to show her, by example in my restaurant, that people can be touched unexpectedly by what they are served and how they are treated. Over the course of some years she came to see and understand the reactions of our customers and how they came to treat and welcome us and the change they underwent.
Being life long "liberal" I hae also tried to teach her about human rights, justice, ethics in government, business, and our dealings with one another.................and that peace starts with each one of us and spreads.
Over the years I have given her writings by Ghandi, MLK Jr., Naruda, and others---------one time I gave her the writings of Rumi-------------I never wxpected her to always understand oreven agree with me---just to be exposed to so much of the world and the things I love and want to share with everybody.
Absolutely nothing is unapproachable to speak of between us has always been my message to her.
On Christmas day as she gave a gift to me she handed to me a card with her Christmas message for me...................and herein lies the gift.......
She told me how much of an influence I have been on her life and that she would never have become the person she is without my influence. She spoke to me of how much a huge part of her being I am and thanked me for her being who she is-----------------------to quote her, "I would be such a different person without you, and see and understand so much less. You truly make me a better, more compassionate, more understanding human being, and I love you."
I of course was uplifted to tears ans we held each other for some moments---------I then hugges she and my wife together and told them both thank you for their love and what they have brought to my soul.
THIS I BELIEVE-------
We all have the power to influence, especially children, by our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. We all have the power to love unconditionally, and to let our children know that no matter their mistakes we will always love them, and each other. We all have it within our hearts to promote peace on a daily basis and topromote understanding and acceptance.and we all have the power to daily stand up against injustice, poverty, war, and hate.
For me it was simply through love and I will never forget her gift to me, and the person she has become.
Peace and love to all of you...................may we share our grace with each other always.