This article was written by Judith Tekin for Fethiye Times.
The theme for this months article is about the small things, reflections and simple pleasures that can end up being the substantial things in our lives.
It’s quite often the little things in life that reveal our likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, needs and desires.
If you pay attention to them closely, I’m sure you will, like me, learn a lot about yourself as well as paying attention to how this world of ours functions.
I rely upon my life experience to relay things as I notice them .
Compassion, empathy and kindness has to be the main part of our lives , deepening our spirit giving us many rewards often hard to explain.
The essence of it is that it’s the simplicity of giving away small acts of kindness that then comes back to us tenfold and we must give without any expectation of reward.
You may think that your presence doesn’t matter at all – THINK AGAIN !
People will think about you every day and it’s our responsibility to give kindnesses which in turn does us good as well as others too.
Many things we do and did are never forgotten.
The person who drinks out of their favorite coloured wine glass that you bought them will remember you each time he or she uses it.
The artifacts that you created for others and gave away will bring back memories of you each time they are viewed .
The seat you gave up on the bus for a disabled person to sit in, both will remember
People will remember the path you walked with them every day and your presence can remain with them even when you are no longer there.
These many important memories linger with us and are so unique and personal.
Some of the simplest pleasures can even be our early morning cup of tea.
Many simple things, hugging one another, a beautiful smile, walks in the countryside or seashore or even the smell of scented candles.
It’s so easy for us to be swept away by the grand things in life and we must pay attention always to the smaller things in life.
Remember, life is journey and not a destination and appreciating the minor things in life enhances our life path.
Can you remember a smell that evokes a visceral reaction making you feel good and at peace with yourself? I’m sure we all can.
Simple joys are like watching the birds and hearing them singing , smelling the roses and the fragrant flowers and shrubs. The joy of making homemade produce that’s so much healthier for us. Oh so many things.
Others can be extending courtesy to so someone and watching their reaction, it works wonders on both people.
I enjoy a short soak in our hot tub looking over Fethiye Bay with the backdrop of the mountains and forest, breathing in the fresh air and appreciating how lucky I am to be here in Turkey.
We all have simple pleasures to cherish which are so gratifying. Now the feeling of warmth and the sunshine brings us delight and watching the skies change.
It reminds us to think how lucky we are to be alive and what life is really all about .
My Father always said, unless we walk in other people’s shoes we would never know their struggles. He taught us that empathy comes from within us instinctively and helps us to help others, whilst also giving us a sense of whom we are.
I was born during the second world war and our family shared every middle-class value. My sister and I were always taught to be grateful for whatever we had.
I remember well that saying “ waste not, want not “ and we always had to finish everything on our plate as the food was rationed.
Middle-class values were implanted in our minds, honesty, gratefulness, loyalty, discipline, cleanliness, respect for others and most of all education.
The legacy of WW2 left shortages and rationing and people became more empathetic to each other’s needs and small considerations were commonplace.
Society was being rebuilt and we lived in a large country house with much land and gardens and enjoyed a quiet lifestyle.
Our parents were strict with us and great givers being well respected in the community .
We had geese and hens, dogs and cats, vegetables growing and a big orchard. I remember well with our gardener helping to pack apples and eggs to be distributed to those in need.
We were taught often by example and one day whilst in our car my Father picked up a tramp and took him to where he wanted to be, giving him money. He smelled awful and looked rough.
My Father said, “feel lucky, most likely through no fault of his own he has no home, no bathroom, change of clothing or money. He appreciates small things and kindness.”.
Times like this were illuminating and taught us to never take our privileged life for granted .
We used to go to Sharow where a well-known and loved rag and bone man lived, under his cart for the most part. People helped him, including us and I remember how polite he was and how well-groomed his horse was. He always said his horse came first and he was given a barn to stay in during wet colder months.
Small considerations that were in fact big ones.
Such gestures remain with us in our memory bank .
Being empathetic and being none judgmental is a crucial component in our lives.
Here in Çiftlik strangers give kindness. I remember many kindnesses shown but last week walking back from the local shop with my trolley full of shopping, I had stopped to rest. I was greeted with a chair and tea. It was a beautiful way to be treated. Strangers then become friends and create a big impression upon us.
Being reasonable human beings involves listening , watching and feeling what others are experiencing .
We must also always remind people of their worth as one small kindness can mean the world to them.
So I say, please help where you can
We are all walking our own unique paths in life and experience some difficulty – remember it could have been you!
The smallest deliberation can make someone’s day different .
Well, It’s a most beautiful time of the year for new beginnings so go for it and try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.
Happiness blooms within us and it’s up to us all to make it happen. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others as we are each treading our own unique path in life.
Authenticity exists in all of us but it’s how we strive to develop it that matters. It’s the way we live our lives, chase our dreams and go that extra mile to help others. It’s within our capacity to do it no matter how small the assistance needed
In turn we work hard to maintain the integrity that drives us all.
Of course life isn’t a straight path for any of us, it has to have ups and downs.
But we cherish the good times in our lives and learn from experience.
Each day I’m sure presents most of us with challenges of one sort or another. That’s humanity. So we plan carefully living in the moment and now and generally simplicity can be the best.
Whilst we never really know what is coming next but our inner self tells us it’s going to be ok.
Throughout life, we meet thousands of different people from all cultures and walks of life. Many will completely forget about us and some may think about us now and again. But there will be those people where you have already imprinted your impact in their minds to be a lifetime memory.
We all hope I guess that we will be remembered in some way as a person who did make a difference in other peoples lives. Leaving a positive imprint is progress.
We will all remember that one person at one time in our lives who was there in our time of need. We will always remember who gave us the positive light of hope and our memories to cherish.
I do hope the sun shines on you all as you read this article but if not I hope the moon makes up for it .
We all create positive ripples in the world each time we do a kind deed, do a loving activity we empower others to have insight.
I like the quote “ if you want to feel good, do good “ .
There is a wealth of evidence showing the higher our levels of self-esteem and self-worth become, the more we are likely to be able to treat others with respect and affection.
Kindness with no expectation of reward is the key .
Ramadan passed and offered us all self reflective times bringing peace and harmony even as we were on lockdown.
Of course, I realize only too well we cannot mend this world but we can try to stretch out in our small ways to do our little bit to help.
If we can perform only one kind act a day I believe we will leave an undeniable legacy of good will.
Remember, “The little things, little moments we share are not little” .
In every given day we will all come across opportunities or events that can offer us peace and understanding.
It can be a simple walk on a quiet beach, along a trickling river bed, or simply just being here in Turkey in this glorious sunshine.
We enjoy interactions with people when safe to do so, enjoy our simpler lives and a myriad of things.
One simple thing is praise. When a good deed is done praise the person for doing it and also receive it with gratitude as it’s a positive sign that we are on the right path in life.
As human beings at times, we can be selfish because we are all human and not perfect. At such times we need to reflect upon our actions to start to have empathy and be more in real control of ourselves.
In the end it lifts our own spirits and elevates our sense of self.
Of course, we have to be real and appreciate that even the happiest of lives cannot exist without a small amount of darkness.
Happiness gets it’s meaning because of these sad encounters
We often feel best with like-minded people who provide comfort to us and it works both ways. So happiness is the living spiritual experience of being alive and appreciating life with grace and gratitude.
Every minute is precious to be savored.
Do what you can, simple as it may seem as you could be next to someone who is trying their best not to fall apart. Please do what you can with kindness from your heart as one day it could be you on the receiving end.
And so to conclude about simple kindnesses.
Positive emotions and simple good deeds help us all to build a balanced life, whilst embracing our recollections of our lives with thanks.
We could all write our own life journal about the art of appreciating the little things in life and all will be different as thankfully we are all unique. Happy days folks and we look forward to more freedom in the knowledge that our world will soon be rid of this virus affecting us all.