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  • I have a green glass bowl on a bookshelf under a window. Smooth round unpolished stones, muted in color by earth and water, fill the bowl. Some stones are solid, some are marbled. They were collected by someone I love at a time when he was without the funds to purchase mementos from the places he was going. Instead, he began to collect stones.

    I believe that real life is performance art. Maybe there could be an Oscar for starring in your own life. Winners would be judged on their ability to make the daily performance of routine tasks an artistic endeavor. I know people who do this.

    There are people who never go for a hike without taking a trash bag along to carry out litter for proper disposal. People who play games with babies in grocery carts while their parents shop. People who give their seats up on buses or wave on drivers in traffic. People who plug money in parking meters for complete strangers. People who pick wild flowers. People who shovel the neighbor’s sidewalk when it snows. People who share their umbrella.

    The problem with recognizing the people who practice this, who excel at this type of performance art, is they don’t care much for trophies. A better way to go along in life is to try not to let the right hand know what the left hand is doing. A good deed is its own reward.

    So, if your life is your movie, make it worthy of recognition. You may never get to stand at a podium and thank all the people who got you there – but I’m inclined to believe that the real stars practice thank you speeches in their hearts. You may never be presented with a gold statue, but you may be presented with refrigerator art from a child – a stick figure portrait of yourself surrounded by flowers and clouds and rainbows. You might never walk a red carpet, but I guarantee you that the road you travel on will rise to meet you and your way will be made easy.
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