Over the last few weeks there have been earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, fires and tropical storms all around the world. The news is full of stories about destruction going on due to weather as well as disaster caused by man. The question that keeps coming to my mind is, “how can I help?” I know I’m not the only one who has a desire to help. It has been my experience that living a full and meaningful life has nothing to do with what we are wearing, the size of our home or the type of car we drive. It has everything to do with how much we help one another.
Recently I was on a train from Brussels to Amsterdam when I heard a young man ask a woman what she thought the purpose of life was. The first thing that came to my mind was helping others. The fulfillment that comes from giving service- true, unselfish service-is unmatched by any other emotion. However, how often do we step outside our comfort zone to see how we can help one in need?
We may feel like the service we give isn’t great or grand because we aren’t helping clean homes that have been flooded or we aren’t in Syria helping refugees. There is so much service that can happen in our own community, neighborhood and home.
Here is a small list of suggestions if you are finding yourself in a service rut:
-Brainstorm and write down, (yes, a physical list), all the ideas you have for giving service. This may include watching a neighbors children while they go out or take a nap, take a treat to someone who may be having a difficult week, send an email to someone you look up to, etc.
-Contribute to a cause striving to do good. (Make sure it is legit!)
-Find an area in your community that could use some clean-up. Pick up trash.
-Make blankets, kits or other necessary items for a homeless shelter.
-Ask a non-profit organization how you can get involved. Volunteers are essential!
-Teach your children about serving others, including their own siblings. Start them young.
-Open the door for strangers, pay the toll for the car in back of you, rake a neighbors leaves, pay for someone else’s groceries, smile at others, etc.
You may find that by serving others your own problems are solved or seem less of a burden. You may find yourself happier, calmer and more fulfilled. We don’t need to cure cancer here. We just need to stop outside ourselves and find someone to help.
We all have talents that can be used for good. Take those talents and bless the world. That’s why we have talents, right?
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”