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.

Back in the Electronic Age

I often make a joke about what would happen if all of our modern electronics suddenly stop working. Do you know what would happen? We would be thrown back all the way to the 1970s.

Some people feel that modern electronics is more of a hindrance than it is a convenience. I was able to decide for myself this week as my incredible four-year-old phone’s battery died. As I began to miss important calls, and meetings with my accountability coach, I started to feel the years melting backward.

 Four years is not a long time, yet I started by looking at getting a new phone. Because I was in the middle of a plan change, I was not authorized to purchase a new phone online. I was told to go to a local store.

I went to a store in the mall, and the clerk advised me to go to the repair center for a new battery. The repair center was amazed that the phone’s battery had lasted the four years and they asked me what I wanted to do. It turns out four-year-old phone batteries are not always available, even at the repair center.

The people at the repair center were very kind though.  They checked out my account online and helped guide me to a phone that would do what I needed and fit into my limited budget.  They made the transition fast and even transferred my apps and data from my old phone to my new one. 

I truly appreciated the folks who helped me, and I am in a far better place than I was two days ago.  For now, I am comfortably back in the electronic age and ready to move forward into Tomorrowland.

If you have a chance, please give me a call.

I hope we can be together again tomorrow.

 

Are You Connected

Technology is a great tool. The use of the computer today allows us to pay our bills, text and get immediate responses, buy things, sell things, share thoughts and even talk to someone face-to-face with a visual chat. Are there some problems that could be made better? Sure. And yet think of how much better this mode of communication is compared with others in the past.

Think of the sailors who used to go to see for years at a time, and their families and loved ones would not know where they were, what they were up to, or even if the wayfarer was alive or dead. Then think of the colonists coming to the new world and building from scratch an entirely new way of life.

At least the colonists in the new world had ships going back and forth to England, and they were able to send letters on the boats. They could send a message and get a reply back in probably three or four months. This was a vast improvement over what had gone on before. At least they got the letter replying back if one of the two ships going back and forth didn’t sink, or the cargo did not get washed overboard.

The other concern with sending letters back and forth across the Atlantic would be whether or not the receiver had been trained in the technology. Not everyone at that time could read. Most people could not sign their own name. The old joke about putting your ‘X’ here was an absolute mainstay of contract signing back then.

We are better educated today. And yet, many do not understand the fundamental technologies of communication today. I do know people who, rather than learning a new technology that could open up their world to many new experiences, actually pack up the computer and put it on the shelf in the closet. They did not understand it, and rather than learning, they just gave up.

Those who give up on technology feel they don’t need it. Many never had the technology when young, and therefore don’t feel the technology is required now. And as these folks go through life, they can be pleased and comfortable, and never realize they are actually just an island, stagnant in a stream of everything that goes on around them. They never see anything other than their little island, because without this technology they never knew what else was out there.

If you live as part of an extended community which makes a choice to limit technology, such as the Amish, you do not miss out as much. Because everyone in the covenant works at the same technological level. The loss of information and lack of gaining knowledge happens in the broader culture where various individuals use various levels of technology and do not get to see the knowledge presented at some of the other levels.

What did they miss out on? Family pictures, live video chatting, purchasing without ever leaving the comfort of your home, gaining knowledge on anything you want to know about, sharing with others, expression, and many other things.

As a community, we can help those who wish to learn newer technologies to do so.  If you know someone who needs technical help, lend a hand.  If you need a little help, check community centers and other places where people share knowledge.  Many centers may have free or nearly free classes.

Let’s Stay Connected