This season is a time when we pause to take stock, to give thanks for what we’ve accomplished, and try to share a bit of our gratitude, our gifts, ourselves with others.
Today, I received three emails from a fellow writer, Alan Barker, who lives near London and whom I met online a few years ago. Out relationship grew when Alan asked if I’d help him craft a story he was working on, a magical tale set in a place we both love, Italy. It was a charming story and I was happy to help. I told Alan right up front that I was very hard on writers and didn’t sugarcoat my opinions. To Alan’s credit (unlike some writers I’ve worked with) he was not looking for praise; he was only concerned with making the story the best it could be. We got on brilliantly, and he began giving me feedback on my stories as well.
In these three emails, he caught me up on all the happenings in his life, which seems full and brimming with allure, complete with interesting and colorful tidbits about his family and friends. He now has several stories being considered for publication at various publishers and magazines. He sent me samples of new work he’s now crafting.
I can’t help but feel a heartfelt gratitude for this friendship that has grown between us. It was a simple act of agreeing to read and comment on a writer’s work that led to a rewarding friendship that I feel will continue for decades. The camaraderie and encouragement I’ve received from Alan over the years far outweighs the effort I put into helping him with those stories.
So as I read those three emails, and look forward to reading the stories he attached to them, I was reminded once again that giving is perhaps the most worthwhile thing a person can do. The laws of Karma are alive and unfailing.