"She stood in a dingy hallway of a shelter and pointed to the water-stained wall. The light came in thin and gray, slanting across her cracked glasses. She pushed her dust-colored hair away from her face; a face curiously childlike for a sixty-year-old woman. On the wall was a drawing she had done of a clock. The time read 5:07. The drawing was a good one, and I told her so; she had dated it months before and, oddly enough, the date happened to be my birthday. As I told her this, her face seemed illuminated from within. Lifting her chin, she began to sing in a slow, stately, sacred way — the way a soprano sings the national anthem, perhaps.

"The song she sang was 'Happy Birthday.' It did not matter that this was not my birthday. In many ways, it was hers; it was ours. Later, when I reported this seemingly 'small' event to the nun who ran the shelter, she nodded, at first as if to herself. 'That's the best reward you could get,' my wise mentor said. 'She got to give you something. Mostly the women here, they don't get that chance — the chance to give anything to anyone. To give someone the chance to give is a gift in itself. Best kind.' "

To Practice: Rejoice in those times when you have a chance to be a graceful receiver of a gift.

Marcy Heidish in Who Cares? Simple Ways You Can Reach Out