Tag Archive | volunteer

The things I could do …


It’s true … the days are getting longer.  As we get closer and closer to summer the light is lasting longer. It’s wonderful to go to work and come home from work in the sunshine. I’m not a fan of the coming heat, but the light is a welcome companion.

And yet, even now there’s so much I want to do, need to do, must do that the days still seem short. I know we cannot extend the number of hours in a day. And frankly, I wouldn’t want to because I’d fill those up too.  But now as I see so many of my friends leaving work to retire, my mind day dreams about what I could do without work taking up most of my waking hours.

I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. She’s retiring in June and we chatted about her next steps. She’ll continue to be a chair person for some of the volunteer activities at the big tennis tournament that comes to town each year. She’s thinking about working with dogs and training them to be both adoptable as well as training them to be healing pets. What wonderful aspirations.

I know I’m just a tad bit too young to be ready for this step but I know I’m creating my list of what I’d do. I want to learn photography, volunteer in a variety of places that require workday help, pick up some artsy classes – painting or stained glass making or pottery. There’s so many possibilities. I know I want to continue with my writing. By then I hope to have my 2nd book finished and maybe working on a 3rd.

All the books I’ve wanted to read would become my daily friends. The places I want to go all over the world with people to meet, and cultures to experience would take much of my money but leave me with an investment in connections and discovery.

Yikes I better stop day dreaming for today or I’ll find myself taking a leap I’m not quite ready for if I keep this up. What are you day dreaming up if time was abounding and plenty? Be blessed!

 

Who needs to know you?


You know the old adage – “It’s not what you know but who you know.” Well as with most old sayings, there is of course, some truth in that statement. I venture to say it’s an 80/20 split in the case of who/what you know. In life, we are all born into a community – by our nature we are in relationships. We are connected and that’s really all we know. Our every achievement and learning has come because we either heard it, saw it, or was physically directed by another to learn it.

I’m not sure why anyone would venture into the “real world” and think it would be any other way. And yet, I frequently hear people making that statement as if this is a foreign concept. Rather than disdain this fact of living as social beings, I believe we should not only practice it to learn and connect but we should do it in both directions.

What do I mean by that? Well, when we need to know or get something, we go to the closest “expert” to ask. One person directs us to another and we network our way into moving ahead, either in knowledge or in career, etc. But how many times do we look around to see who needs to know us? Do you have a spirit for teaching but hesitate to reach out to do that? Do you have expertise, experience, or knowledge that would change someone else’s life, or even the direction of their struggle, but talk yourself out of sharing? I often wonder what is it in our nature or raising that makes us hesitate to share without being asked. Do we have to let people struggle to “earn” their right to proceed or succeed? I think not, but I am discouraged at times by the way we live in a society that cherishes taking care of our own and letting the rest be damned.

I can’t tell you how badly my life would have gone if that was the case for me. Not everyone gets the privilege of being born into a family or situation that edifies and lifts them up and guides their way. I am ever grateful that as a child I was given a hand out. Out of poverty. Out of abuse. Out of despair, dysfunction, and possible destruction. I was also given a hand up – people who didn’t know me chose to love me. I learned to live in a family that gave without question. They were generous with time as well as with resources. They lived their faith through volunteerism and I was blessed to live with and learn from them. I have tried to instill that in my family. I know I crave the opportunity to give back as a way to balance the books for what was given to me.

Sometimes, on our better days, I wish we would see more examples of people voluntarily sharing and networking who and what they know on behalf of someone else and not just for themselves.

Ask yourself – who do  you know? Who else needs to know them too? Join me in looking for who needs to know you and me. And be blessed!

Touch a soul


Inspiration is a funny thing.

At work I’ve been talking with a colleague about ways we can help people connect their work plans with the organization’s purpose statement in more meaningful and inspiring ways. While that’s important in the workplace, it leads me to the bigger questions about motivation and inspiration. What is inspiration, really? It’s such a vague and personal thing, this inspiration. For some people it’s easy – all about dollars and cents. But for most people, inspiration is so much bigger. It carries a life of its own and often leads to action and creation, not because someone is compelled by a job or external expectations, but rather they are called and pulled and almost magically motivated because they are inspired.

For me, there are so many images and songs and events that motivate me to think or have emotions. But there are limited numbers of things that inspire me and then compel me to act. I’m inspired by:

> The desire to see my children and family happy. That’s a very motherly thing to say and “aren’t we all” comes to mind.

> The desire to touch another person’s life in a practical way. That’s what drives me to volunteer in the community to help children, elderly, or disabled people.  This makes my faith real in the physical world and it feels like I’m giving back. Considering how much people helped me, particularly when I was a child in the orphanage, this is inspiration becoming action for me. I can’t even the scale but this helps me get closer.

> But the biggest, is my desire to touch another life at the soul level. This is something I think about all the time. It’s not a fleeting fantasy. It’s not a lofty dream. This is real. This makes me breathe air in and out each day. This is why I do the work I do in HR – craving the ability to touch a life. This is why I meditate on my life’s purpose. This is why I write about God and inspiration. I want to shine the light so strongly that others see their own gifts and possibilities. If I touch a soul, my life has been relevant. That’s what really inspires me.

I’d love to know – what are your inspirations? And what are your gifts?

Be blessed!