Giving Back

I remember hearing or reading somewhere there is a saying, it goes something like, to those whom much is given, much is expected. We could look at this from many perspectives, for today, I am looking at the aspect of helping others.

I have always had a feeling and a desire to help others. When we have money, it is easy to make a donation. We can drop some coins in the kettle, have a monthly gift taken out of the check, attend a gala, or just write a check ourselves. What do we do when we don’t have funding for ourselves?

Working as a member of the military for most of my life and then putting kids through school, there were occasions when I understood the lack of personal funding. And yet, it never stopped me from helping others. Donating money, if you have it, is an easy way to help others. There are other ways which are sometimes a little bit more challenging.

Whenever I don’t have money to donate, I like to give time. Donating money is not cheap, yet you can always earn more money. Money becomes a renewable resource. If you donate your time, you are giving a nonrenewable resource which you cannot replenish. And yet there is a beautiful trade-off here.

When I donate time, I do give a nonrenewable resource which I know I will not be able to recoup. In exchange, though, I received terrific gifts in return. I am able to connect with people and talk with them. I learn new things that I consider important because the lessons come from those who actually live the knowledge they have to share. I may have a chance to make somebody’s day better. Having given this donation of time, no matter how grueling, I almost always walk away knowing that I feel better for the opportunity and the experience.

You don’t have to have something formal or participate through an organization, sometimes helping a neighbor rake the leaves or sit on the porch and talk with a neighbor who might be lonely is all it takes. If you play catch with the kids in the neighborhood and talk with them, you are positively molding the future.

Think about it. Because the real trick is, doing something good for someone else really does something good for you.

Thank you for being here today I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Got Help?

It is okay to need or offer help.

One day or another, on one question or another each of us needs assistance in finding the answers. Help sometimes comes in the form of knowing something the other person does not and sharing that knowledge. Other times, it is the ability to do something that another person cannot do for themselves.

Once again, we see significant weather phenomena, affecting our coastline. With wind and rain, and devastation to buildings and infrastructure, we see people in the middle of the storm bringing in their boats and going out to help people. We think those people and praise them for risking their own life and limb to save others.

Most of the time, help does not require anything quite so dramatic. Help is often two friends having a talk, sharing information, knowing that one would gladly give another a hand. Help is often someone just listening to another person and giving them a suggestion or two.

In many instances, the person being helped today may be giving the help tomorrow or the next day. After all, as the poets remind us, we are not islands, and we were never designed to live in solitude. Help and being helped is part of our inherited destiny. And, we should participate in that destiny when needed.