“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
There have been many quotes I have used to begin posts on this blog but none have had as much of an impact on me as this very powerful string of words.
I lead a very fortunate life. I may not be rich in terms of dollars and cents but I am wealthy. I have roof over my head, a job that I love and I am surrounded by a wonderful network of friends and family who are nurturing, loving and supportive. Perhaps that energy is the fuel that brought me to this moment in my life, the moment when I realized I wanted to give more of my time to people who could use a hand and in a way I felt I was best able to help.
There is no set of standards for helping others. There is no rule book, no guideline and no complex set of algorithms. It is a simple equation. Time + Effort = Results. And for some, the results of our time and effort can make more of a difference than we will ever potentially realize.
A small group of people, including myself, spent a little over two hours of our time a week ago Sunday and the outcome of our concerted efforts will provide dinners for deserving families in our community. It was two hours out of our Sunday. We chatted, we had cocktails and we laughed. And in that small window of time, we made a huge difference. We created meals that will allow people to, not just feed their family during a tough time but, feed their family a home-cooked meal made with real food. And next Sunday, and maybe every Sunday this winter, we will do the same thing again with some familiar and some new faces and, hopefully, take another small amount of weight from the shoulders of the families we are trying to help.
If I can subsequently find myself while losing myself in the service of others, point my compass in that direction any time. I go to bed with a tired body, but with a full heart. And if my journey has taught me anything, it is that life is not defined by what you have. Life is defined by what you give.