Open your umbrella

IT’S monsoon season in Bombay. Nine-year-old Jimmy Weber is on his way home from school with his big black umbrella. He is excited! He can’t wait to see what his Mom, the wife of an expat, has prepared for him on the dining table!

He sees a family of four, seated on the side walk, huddled together under the rain. A mother cradling an infant, another boy his age, and their father. He sees them shivering, their small fire extinguished by the rain.

Jimmy goes near them and shares his big umbrella. They all sit in silence as the rain pellets them. After awhile he notices that they stop shivering, shielded from the onslaught. As the rain eventually dies down, they smile and the family moves out of the umbrella.

Everyone feels warmer. Especially Jimmy, even if he is drenched to the bone!

When was the last time you shared your umbrella?

We are all like umbrellas. We come in different types, colors, and sizes.

What kind of umbrella are you? Are you the “automatic type” who easily opens up or are you the “manual type” that needs a little bit of time and effort to extend yourself?

Are you like the Japanese paper umbrellas great for the sun but not for the rain? Or a golf-umbrella, sun, wind and rain-resistant? What’s your color? Are you transparent? Can people easily see through you? Are you black, very traditional, always playing it safe.

Are you brightly colored or the neon-type, always wanting to attract attention? How big are you? (No, I don’t mean your weight!) How many people can stay under your shade? Are you a tiny one that keeps the head dry, but the entire body wet? Or a big green one that fits an entire “barkada" in a cafe?

Whatever type you are, you’re meant to bless others! Not just to whack biting dogs!

Someone, or maybe a group of people at work or at home will be blessed by you today! When you open your umbrella and share it with others, you can “stop the shivering.” You can give them a cool break from the burning heat. You can bring people together!

You have been hiding in the corner for too long! Today is a terrific time to open your umbrella! Whatever your size, shape, or color, you can make a difference, a big difference in the life of someone today!

And guess what? The wonderful thing about life is that you do not always have to be the same “umbrella” that you think you are!

Don’t limit yourself! You might need to be very big today. You can be as gigantic as a parachute! Going for that big dream! Introducing radical changes! Or maybe it's just time to be really small like a cocktail umbrella on a mango shake! Offering a sincere smile at work today!

Open your umbrella! Be a blessing today! Choose to have a magnificent Monday!

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