Most of us know what the above title means. And I’m hoping that we have all had the opportunity to do this. It is so simple to do that I think it would happen more often if we just thought about it.
I have a friend that works at a restaurant and he told me that every week, a widower comes in for dinner and, while there, he’ll look around for a family (usually a large family having dinner) and when he goes to pay his bill, he’ll ask the hostess if $75.00 will cover their bill. When she says yes, he leaves her enough to cover the tab and the tip. After he leaves, and has been gone for several minutes, she goes over and tells the family what had happened – that their bill has been taken care of. They are completely surprised! And so very grateful.
Winston Churchill said: “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”
When one lives in such a country as the United States, it is easy to take a lot of things for granted.
I believe this truth becomes clearest when we travel to places less fortunate. We tend to take simple things like clean clothes and suitable water to drink for granted.
Spending a week in Haiti made us more aware than ever of all the blessings we have.
Most of us would not consider a daily shower an indulgence, but rather a necessity. We tend to complain about paying off college loans, when in many countries going to college is not possible or even allowed.
As most of you know, my family has been spending a week here in Haiti at The Mission of Hope. We have come over to serve and give of our time and supplies that so many of our generous friends donated.
This organization exists to bring life transformation to every man, woman and child in Haiti. It was founded in 1998 and exists to serve not only the physical needs, but the spiritual need of the Haitian population.
The quality of education is vital in their effort to improve the economic structure of Haiti. The School of Hope has approximately 2,500 students enrolled – Kindergarten through High School, and is very highly ranked based on governmental test scores.
Life in the twenty-first century is extremely demanding. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things that need to be done; keeping up with work and studies, spending more time with family and friends; not to mention earning enough money for all the necessities.
With so many challenges to cope with, you may say to yourself: “I’m already scrambling to deal with all the demands and pressures on me. How will I find the time and resources to give more?”
I believe no matter what our circumstances may be, we all have the ability to give. When you think about it, we have all received much from others –teachers, relatives, even strangers.
Chad and family in Haiti on a service mission April 2012
Ghandi said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Most of us are extremely fortunate. Though we can easily get caught up in the daily struggles of our own lives and families, we truly have so much to be grateful for.
Only when we think beyond ourselves and show compassion for others can we really share the gifts of our abundance.
We can achieve personal gratification as well, by performing acts of unselfish kindness and generosity, acts that validate your good fortune, that give true meaning to your lives. These acts will not only sustain you in your life, but will dignify the lives of others.