Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

George Pays It Forward

In a recent post, I described my grandson’s loving acceptance of George the lemur who lost his tail. This morning, George was found with his hand resting on Chao Chao in what appears to be a gesture of kindness. (Everyone denies staging this scenario, so think what you will about how this came about.)

Chao Chao recently joined the family, brought home by my daughter (my grandson’s aunt) from her visit to China over Thanksgiving. He is a rat, symbolizing 2020, the year of the rat in Chinese astrology.

Perhaps George is inviting us to make 2020 the year of kindness and compassion, to encourage others rather than criticize, to accept rather than judge, to reach out rather than reject, to forgive rather than hate, to love rather than fear.

The Dalai Lama says that his religion is kindness. The Chinese goddess Guan Yin pours the nectar of compassion over the world. Jesus cautioned us to judge not, and commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Buddha taught that hatred ceases not by hatred but only by love.

All these great wisdom teachings have been modeled for me in the last few days by my grandson and his stuffed animal. “And a little child shall lead them,” says the Bible. Perhaps one of my last lessons this year is humility.

In a few days I will head up to my forest cabin for my year end retreat. On New Year’s Eve, I will sit in front of the fire. First I will write a letter to the year ending, thanking it for its lessons and blessings. Then I will write a letter to the new year, welcoming it with hospitality and openness. Finally I will burn both letters, offering all my gratitude and anticipation to the heavens and the earth.

We each choose what to pay forward in the next year. May we choose well.

12 thoughts on “George Pays It Forward”

  1. Ah, how I enjoy your family posts and the lessons they bring! Your hearth invites just the kind of prayerful reflection and anticipation that you describe with your year-end practice.

    Passing the torch to a new decade, especially the 2020s, which invite us to see with a new vision, is a momentous occasion. I am so grateful that you get to ring in the new year and decade with your cabin and forest wrapped around you. I'm grateful too for the ways you help illumine my path.

    A glorious Year of the Rat to you, my dear friend!

    Love and hugs,

  2. Thanks for your thoughts on this one. I loved it all. Yes, love and Compassion are such gifts in one's life. They are qualities to work upon always.
    I really love your New Year retreat and what you do these are delightful ideas. I think it is a lovely tradition.
    It is wonderful that we have such great thoughts from different religious and philosophical beliefs. I do think all good comes from the Spirit of Christ that lights the world.
    Have a sweet New Year retreat. Sending loving thoughts and hugs your way!

  3. I too am very blessed to have this post show up in my emailbox, reminding me that there are many paths to peace, and that "hatred ceases not by hatred but by love." I resolve to love as much as I can this coming year. Love your new year's tradition. 🙂

  4. I understand that the year of the rat heralds new beginnings because the rat is the first animal in the 12 year cycle (because it won the race). So a new year, a new decade, and a new 12 year cycle — the trifecta of new beginnings! I'm basking in your kind words. Love you, GH!

  5. Thanks, LeAnn. I agree that all wisdom comes from truth, and there is only one truth, by whatever name. The Tao Te Ching talks about things with different names coming from the same source.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  6. Many paths indeed, all to the same destination. That is how I've always thought about prayer. Thank you for all the inspiration this year, DJan. Looking forward to continuing our blog friendship in 2020.

  7. Thoughts to treasure and ponder, Galen, as we say farewell to the old year and ready ourselves to embrace the next with as much kindness and love as we can muster, with God's help.
    And thank you for including a photo from your cabin – it looks so cozy and inviting! I will picture you sitting in front of that fire on December 31.

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