Life response is the phenomenon where sudden good fortune descends on a person due to an elevation of consciousness. It can come from a change in attitude, an intense aspiration for a thing to be achieved, to a decision, and to an action. One other way sudden good fortune comes is through acts of kindness, generosity, and goodness. We can sum them up as “self-givingness.”
The other day I attended a meeting where people were gathered to watch a presentation. Sitting next to me was an individual who like me was eager to learn new things from the speaker. At one point, my neighbor turned over several leaflet pages to their blank side. I thought this indicated that he wanted to take some notes. I then wondered if he even had a pen to write with, since there was none present. A few moments later, he pulled out a tiny, thin pen from his Swiss Army Knife. It seemed a rather anemic writing utensil. I then offered him to use one of my pens, which he gladly and appreciatively accepted.
At the end of the presentation, gifts were handed out to lucky winners. Interestingly, the man next to me to whom I gave the pen won one of the larger prizes. Then astonishingly the next person counterclockwise to him at the table won the next prize. (There were a number of tables, mind you.) Then utter astoundingly the next person sitting counterclockwise still won the following prize! Now, I was the only one left at the table. As they were drawing, the astonished participants in the room were looking at me as the logical next person to win the prize! And wouldn’t you know it, that is exactly what took place! And it turned out to be an expensive gift that I needed for my work!
From the standpoint of life response, an inner cause creates an outer effect. The cause on this case was my concern for the person next to me and his lack of writing utensil. When I observed his situation and extended myself by offering a pen, I performed a very small act of generosity that precipitated the astounding series of events that followed; breaking all odds. That is the life response power we generate when we practice self-giving behavior.
Here’s another example I witnessed recently. In the film ‘The Savages’, we watch as a son and daughter care for their elder ill father who has Parkinson's. They (the Savage children) are both struggling artists, who have yet to make a breakthrough in their creative fields. The son is a writer, the daughter a struggling playwright. As it turns out the son is satisfied that they have put their father into a nursing home for care. The daughter however is not happy with this dismal arrangement, and seeks something better. Along the way, she discovers a much nicer home in a rural area. She then makes the journey to find out about it and apply for her father’s transfer there. Most interestingly, however, is that when she arrives home, she receives a package in the mail with word that she has been given a very large grant from the government. It provides her with the money by which she produces her very first play – on Broadway no less. From rehearsals, it seems it is going to be a big success.
In this instance, we see how an unsuccessful woman on the verge of poverty with no work in site is catapulted to a completely new life. Her act of generosity of seeking out better conditions for her father has attracted an overwhelming response in the form of the grant that provided the funds by which she would change the course of her career. It is the overwhelming life response power generated by sweet acts of self-givingness.
See also other Case Studies on Life Response