“Love… includes fellowship in suffering, in joy and in effort.” (Albert Schweitzer)

I am constantly amazed at the human reaction to tragedy. Last week’s tornado in Joplin has once again given us all a reason to care about those around us. No matter how bad things get, average, every day people become instant heroes as they reach out to the victims and find ways to help. Human nature has so much depth of character and compassion that even the most horrifying events bring out the best in so many people. That’s what “love thy neighbor” really means. It’s a practical approach to life that makes our lives worth living.

We all have the ability to contribute to the greater good but too often we find ourselves passively existing rather than actively living. I know I have missed opportunities to help, especially in my younger days when my business was my only focus. Sure, I wrote checks to charities and I volunteered a few times in easy ways but I never really made a difference. Surviving cancer and closing the business has changed me in ways I can’t even begin to explain. Little things like giving blood are extremely important to me now. I happen to be O+ which makes me a universal donor and I try hard to get in there ever 3 months to make my donation. On my next visit I will get my 2 gallon pin and I will feel really good about that. It’s a minor thing but last week it was a major need and lots of people turned out to help. Small but significant steps that anybody can take.

When we wake up each day with the thought of finding ways to make a difference we are changed forever. You can’t go back to selfishness and conceit once you have experienced the fellowship of mankind. If we just focus on each day as a gift and concern ourselves with sharing that gift, we will all know a kind of joy that is uniquely human. It’s happiness that can’t be described or prescribed.  It only exists in those moments when we let go of ourselves in favor of giving to others. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to try it once to find out. Leave your home and find some one person you can help. Trust me, it’s not that hard.

Albert Schweitzer spent his whole adult life making a difference and he knows firsthand what he is talking about. It’s not enough to write checks, or pray or show concern. Love for your fellow-man is about your effort on his behalf. We don’t even need a disaster like this to make it happen. All we need is a spirit for giving every day of our lives. We need to trust each other and be there for each other and find ways to make even the smallest difference. The return on investment you will receive from this act will make you want to do more and make you worry less about your own life. That’s a pretty good way to live and I sincerely hope we all experience this in our lifetime.

©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


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