SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 335: “The Sewer Of Happiness”

“Be kind to each other… give of yourself… allow your gifts to be manifest, and let other people to have their gifts instead of expecting them to follow yours. We are all different… we all have different things that we do well. I’m a good teacher; I’m terrible at other things. I can’t be a nurse… not my thing… but I can be a good teacher. And, I can give away sewing knowledge and that is what I love to do. I love to give it away… and if she gets hooked (referring to my daughter who has just finished one of Carol’s, today’s stranger turned friend, week-long sewing camps), then she will teach her daughter… and her daughters will teach their daughters.”

Yes, Carol teaches sewing, quite complex sewing at that, proven by the highly intricate quilt that my daughter made as her camp project. But what is more important in Carol’s example is the precept she communicates.

“Be kind to each other… give of yourself… allow your gifts to be manifest, and let other people to have their gifts instead of expecting them to follow yours. We are all different… we all have different things that we do well,” Carol says as she tells me of students from classes past, many of whom have been learning from her well into their teenage years. “My hope is that they pass it on to everyone around them. And in them, I see the esteem and happiness that learning has brought to their lives.”

Yes again, Carol loves what she does as a teacher of sewing. Yet in speaking with her, and in spending a little time watching just how she interacts with her class, I see more than needle, fabric and thread, I see a dedicated teacher who is planting seeds of confidence, self-esteem and skills to positive outlook. “These kids are our future,” Carol cheers in setting up for talking of the future.

“I don’t think it is going to happen soon…” Carol contemplates, “…but, I think we are going to cross over the hump and get back into kindness. At some point we have to stop hating people and shooting them. To flat-out stop being mean!

I don’t know if we have hit that hump yet, because it’s worse every day… we hear it every day. But I think it will cycle through and I think we will go over the brink and then we will come back. And, when we do, we will eventually end up in kindness. It probably won’t be in our lifetime, but we are planting seeds.

The problem is the scarcity syndrome… too many people worrying that there is not enough in the world for everybody. People are hording and they need to realize that there is plenty for everyone. This world can be a world of abundance, and the more we give away… the more comes back to us. It’s when you hoard that the energy stops.

And right now I think we need to give even more spiritual and emotional than physical. People are discouraged, out of jobs, pay is getting cut back, they’re benefits are getting cut back… so they are holding back and hoarding resources. But the biggest problem is that they are also emotionally hoarding.

I think we are coming to the cusp of where we are at as a people, and we are becoming more willing to open up. And, once we break through that, I think we will go, Oh…! There is a better way to live…! I can be nice to that guy… he has apples and I have oranges… and we can share… as opposed to me keeping all the oranges.”

Carol’s wraps up with a recommendation to us all, “Time… kindness… Just give it away. If you do, I promise it will come back to you.”

Carol, it has been a joy partaking of your energy. And, in leaving your camp, one title comes to mind that can fully describe your presence, you are the “Sewer of Happiness.”

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