As Mother’s Day approaches, for many it is a time to celebrate the love of a good mum, yet for others it is a tender and difficult time, as they navigate the loss of their loved one, or grieve for their estranged relationship with the very person who is by definition meant to protect and nurture.
This brought about all manner of conversations within our team and we felt we should be celebrating those special people we know who we describe as having a heart of gold; an expression which goes back at least as far as the 1500s, and is seen to be used by Shakespeare in his play Henry V. The meaning stems from the idea that gold is a precious metal, so a heart of gold was a highly valued treasure.
People with a heart of gold are like a priceless treasure, filled with compassion, genuine love for others and a deep rooted kindness at the very centre of their being. They are a rare light in our world if we are fortunate to know such a soul. Male or female, young or old, this kind of person crosses both gender and age. These traits aren’t learnt in a classroom, a workplace, or taught at home; although they can be modelled. These characteristics are grown from a small seed within; they are present from the start, and when allowed to flourish, create a magnificent display of love and grace.
We will probably all know of at least one person within our circle who we would describe as having such a heart, the one who picks up the phone the morning of a big day, the one who pitches up when they sense you are in need of a friend, the one who offers a place to stay at a cost to themselves. They are the kind of person you are in awe of when you see them in action with others ,because it is just so out of the norm.
We are a nation of people seeking to better ourselves, and our striving often leaves no time for us to want to think about others. It doesn’t come naturally to give to others at personal cost to ourselves, so more often than not, we simply don’t; a good example of which was written over 2000 years ago in the Bible with the story of the Good Samaritan. Those with a heart of gold go against this conventional way of being, they just keep on giving.
They stay with you no matter what, through the good and the bad times, they are strong yet selfless, stubborn yet sensitive, a mixture that affords them the tenacity to keep on. The wisdom to see what you need, and the kindness to give you it wholeheartedly. A strong set of beliefs and core values sit at the heart of this person, and they hold to a strong conviction of what they believe is true, right and fair, and they don’t deviate from these beliefs.
At the centre of this all is love. A steadfast, unchanging, against all odds kind of love. The kind of love that looks past the wrongs that you may have done, an unfailing love that doesn’t judge you, because they understand you are fallible. A love that is far beyond our comprehension. They often go without recognition, the acts they carry out quietly that others don’t see; in fact, they are uncomfortable when it is mentioned and made much of, as they prefer to stay out of view.
I know such a person, who because of her unfailing kindness, has offered a homely environment for a man recovering from an addiction. She offered with no hesitation at the drop of a hat when asked by another friend if she would consider having him to stay when he was having a particularly bad time one weekend. He is now welcome to stay whenever he chooses, and can stay for 4 or 5 days at a time, when he can’t face being in the emptiness of his own home. She provides a maternal presence for him, that due to his addiction from his late teens, has been missing throughout his adult life; and she allows him simply to be. Because of her gentleness, there is a visible change in him, a lightness in his demeanor; a sense of peacefulness within him, a look of hope.
Would I like to celebrate this amazing woman? I would love to, and I know, just like you do, there are many others who we should be celebrating;
It may be the foster parent who has fostered many a child with love and empathy.
It may be the father bringing up his children on his own.
It may be the lady at church always running around for others.
It may be the one who offers a bed to those in desperate times.
It may be the work colleague who always goes the extra mile in helping others.
It may be the friend who never stops giving lifts, dropping off shopping etc.
We would love to celebrate these amazing people this March, and we invite you to do so with us, by joining in our competition to win a hamper of chocolate goodies for them and let you tell them through chocolate you think they have a Heart of Gold.