Sunday, January 4, 2015

Currency of the Heart: An invitation to life’s dance. 

On New Year’s day, it is my habit to call friends and write thank you notes for kindnesses received during the past year.  As I was writing on January 1st this year, a good friend who died about eight years ago came to mind.  Ken Beirn taught me a great deal about gratitude, kindness and true currency of the heart. His thoughtfulness often lifted my spirits during difficult times.

One day when I was particularly down he bought balloons and conspired with my children to tie them to my chair at the dinner table.  When I came home and saw the colorful bouquet of balloons  I had to smile.

He also took on a grandfatherly role towards my five children, inviting each one for outings, separately and unexpectedly.  No fanfare, no call ahead. He would ring the doorbell and ask if a particular child could come out to play.

“May Lee play tennis with me?”
“May Aimee go for ice cream with me?”
“May Sharon come for a swim with me?”
“Is Tama home? May we talk?”
 “May I take Heather for a walk on the beach?

Again and again, Ken offered us the gift of his time and presence.

Years later he gave me books of E. B. White’s letters with page notations on the inside cover. He underlined the words he wanted me to read. In one particular essay about Walden, Ken underlined the phrase an invitation to life’s dance.  I have come to understand that life’s dance may be the movement between giving and receiving.  When E.B. White was moved by his heart to be in touch with someone, he wrote a letter that spread kindness across the page like jam on bread.

Ken, like E.B.White, was always on the lookout for opportunities to be kind and generous.  Today I pay homage to him and other kind people in my life whose examples of currency of the heart are seeds of this blog.

It is my hope that 2015 is filled with kindness and generosity for you.

Happy New Year.


Rosemary Williams launched Currency of the Heart to inspire readers to “pay it forward” from the heart’s most precious currency. We’d love to hear from you! To share your story or to request permission to republish this blog post, please email

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