Thursday, December 30, 2010

You Just Never Know...

Most of us, at least in some small way would like to look back on our lives and know that we helped other people.  Helped them live better lives, be happier, feel better even if just for a moment.

No matter what your personal circumstances are.  No matter how bad your quality of life is right now or how great it is.  We can all have an impact on the lives of others.  In fact, we do everyday whether we intend to or not.

So here's the deal: A lot of us do things intentionally trying to help others.  A smile, a hug, a handshake, sometimes just being there.  Some of us write, hoping to encourage others.  Some of speak words of encouragement.  Still others look to help by doing things for others.

The problem, I think, is that we are by our very nature, social creatures.  When we do something for someone, we look for interaction from that other person.  Kind of a reassurance that what we did had an impact.  The truth is, even totally selfless giving, seeks at least some kind of acknowledgment.  Don't believe me?  Ask yourself why you help others.  If you're truly honest when you whittle away all of the pious words, you'll find yourself saying something like: "I like to help others because it brings me joy."

Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing things to get joy in your life.  Personally, I believe joy is one of the purest most happy states that any of us can ever experience.  All I'm saying is we all do things expecting some kind of reward or pleasure in return.

When we don't get that response or reward, many of us eventually stop giving or at least become discouraged with the idea of helping others.

But... here's a different take on that.  Most times the people who need help, love, joy the most, are the last ones to ask for it.  In the moment, where they are, often it is hard for them to find the words to express the gratitude they feel.  By no means does it mean that your words or act of kindness went unnoticed or unappreciated.  Sometimes those little things we do can have life changing impact on people.  And we'll never know.  Some people don't know how to say thank you.  That doesn't mean that the things you do aren't appreciated or that you should stop doing them.

Smile, because its easier than frowning.  Write like the world will read every word even if they don't because its good for you too.  Speak encouraging words at every turn because even if no one else is listening, you are.  Give whatever you can whenever you can because it feels good knowing that it may just help someone out.

Accept the fact that you may never know how you changed a life and sometimes the only life you will change is your own!

That, to me... is not such a bad thing after all!

1 comment:

  1. More often then not, when I make an effort to do something for someone else, the person I'm helping the most I truly believe that to keep it (happiness, joy, love, your own desire here!) you have to give it away. In my own life I truly didn't know true happiness until I made an attempt to incorporate that philosophy into my life on a daily basis. I really enjoy your posts Tim...