There is another dimension to this lovely reflection about living the right livelihood. I believe it was the apostle Paul who said, later in his life, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." I knew a lady who embodied this grace. Ruth experienced uterine cancer and a complete hysterectomy at the age of 16. Later, when she married, she knew her longing for motherhood would never be fulfilled. So she became one of the pioneering 'women in the workplace', and determined that the economic excess she brought into her and Frank's household would be lavished on children in need. She took in her brother's disabled daughter, providing the intensive care, education and healthcare that would have bankrupted the child's family. She provided unique travel and education opportunities to each niece and nephew. Ruth also developed a radar for other children in need, and found gracious ways to offer help without bringing shame or discomfort to the families. I was one of those children, and Ruth's heart of generosity taught me the joy of sharing or giving without reserve.Ruth K. was very bright, and in another generation might have been an accountant, or a lawyer like her father. But Ruth earned the wealth she shared by working her entire career as the 'tool cage lady' in a factory, bringing elegance, humor and joy to her job every day.Ruth never denied the sorrow of her personal loss, or the humbleness of her job, but in her acceptance of both she discovered the new potential and power afforded her, and lived her gifts to the fullest -- well into her 90's, still giving and sharing herself to the very end.
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