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[box]At the end of the day, it’s what you’ve done in total. That’s the measure of a compassionate person. S. Goldberg (2009) examiner.com, August 26.[/box]

There was a monk in the Middle Ages who had a very difficult time remembering at the end of the day if he had done meritorious works or actions that were less than skillful. He lamented his problem to a very wise teacher.

Carry two bags of pebbles,” the teacher said. “One bag should contain white ones and the other, blacks. If you do an action that’s meritorious, take out a white pebble and place it into your pocket. If it was less than skillful, take out a black one. At the end of the day, count the number of white and black pebbles. It there were more whites than blacks, it was a good day. If the reverse was true, vow to do better the next day.”

For Ted Kennedy, it has been a very, very good day. There might be a lesson there for all of us.

copyright 2009 Stan Goldberg, stangoldbergwriter.com

This article can be reproduced and distributed without charge for any non-commercial project if the source is provided.

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About The Author

I am an author of eight books in four languages. LESSONS FOR THE LIVING: STORIES OF FORGIVENESS, GRATITUDE AND COURAGE AT THE END OF LIFE is my memoir of being a bedside hospice volunteer for six years while battling prostate cancer. My next book, LEANING INTO SHARP POINTS: PRACTICAL GUIDANCE AND NURTURING SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS will be published in March, 2012 by New World Library and focus on caregiving for loved ones who have a progressive or terminal illness.