For those of you who know me it comes as no surprise that I like to explore the past. It's trinkets and treasures carry memories and lessons that have the power to enlighten and inspire us. Perhaps it's a bit of nostalgia combined with a bit of curiosity that pushes me to ask questions of how we can learn from the past to make our future better.
To that end I have found that by exploring our histories in trinkets and treasures, whether it's the kind you find displayed in museums, sold in antique shops and thrift stores or the items we've discovered and display in hour homes, each piece carries a story and within that story a lesson.
On a recent antique outing I came across what at first seemed to be a funny little book. Displayed on a book-stand, this grey and weathered book was originally published in 1913, over 100 years ago. Just realizing the age of the book made me think of what had happened since its first printing. Two world wars, the expansion of the electrical grid, the wide adoption of the car, the invention of the computer, the passage of a woman's right to vote, the civil rights movement and so much more.
In a mere thirty seconds this simple book left me awestruck at what has been accomplished in 100 years and how much more we have yet to accomplish. I was both appreciative and inspired by this books simple message. A collection of friendly thoughts compiled to give to someone you love or care about.
Today a book like this may not be successful if printed but its simple and caring messages reminded me of how powerful kindness and empathy can be. How empathy has pushed humans to find resolutions to challenging problems throughout time. The books basic guiding principle of kindness offers wisdom to anyone who is willing to pause and listen. To slow down and acknowledge that what is most important in life is the connection we have with others and more importantly that the pertinence of that connection lies in our ability to empathize and see the world through the eyes of another.
All of this from a simple book printed over 100 years ago. There's no knowing what we'll find if we open our eyes and welcome the unexpected. I will likely never forget this book, and though I regret not purchasing it, I am thankful that it touched my life and reminded me, and maybe now you, that kindness and empathy will carry the world to a better place.
Hi, I'm Liz. I like to write about life and the wisdom I cull from it. I use words and images to inspire empathy and connection with each other and the world.