On the Subject of Grace and Paying it Forward

By Patrick Balerio, VOICE Vendor

I would like to share some thoughts on the many qualities of Grace. First of all, it is only through mercy that we as human beings can truly understand the essence of Grace. Or shall I say the acts of both giving and receiving…which, I might add, are only two components of Grace.

I, for instance, never had a problem giving of myself, or sharing whatever I might have to offer. On the other hand, I was never able to receive gifts, or any kind gestures for that matter…for me, it was a matter of self-esteem—or lack thereof. Then it dawned on me that people who give of their hearts might be hurt by one who is unwilling to receive their offering, even if it is a simple compliment.

Every day I get to stand on the corner of 17th Ave. and Lawrence St., I feel it is truly a blessing, for in doing so, I get to be in receipt of so many kind gestures. It’s amazing how a simple smile as a note of positive acknowledgement goes a long way. So, whether one is a patron of the VOICE or not, such gestures, in and of themselves, are a form of paying it forward. Yes, extending oneself in a humane manner toward another person is truly an act of Grace, and I want to thank all of the wonderful people who do so toward all of the vendors who are taking small steps toward self-sufficiency.

This is for those people who are kind, considerate, compassionate, forthright, conscientious, empathetic, generous (in many ways), environmentally-minded caretakers of the planet and humanity as well. For such people are the salt of the earth.

There is so much more to be said on the subject of Grace, but I will keep it short and simple. Again, thanks to one and all.


Pat Balerio


P.S. I mentioned environmentally-minded people, or those who maintain, add to, or enhance the relative forces of the planet, such as beekeepers (Fran), for in doing so, these caretakers benefit both the planet and humanity as well. ■