When you grow up in a country like the United States, you’re exposed to marketing engines that bombard you with messages every day. These messages are all about the things that we need to have in order to be happy. We need the latest toy, we need the best technology, and we need it now! These messages come so frequently that we believe and act on them every day. A friend and I were talking today and agreed that attaining more stuff is, in fact, not what we need. The most transformational moments in my life were when I was of service to others, without any expectation of something in return. I believe that what we truly need is the act of giving.
We all say that we want to volunteer and help each other. The amazing thing is when we give to others, we end up helping ourselves the most. Giving is the best selfish act we can do, simply because it makes us feel so good. So why don’t we make giving the foundation of our lives?
The Dalai Lama said:
“The first beneficiary of compassion is always oneself. When compassion, or warm heartedness, arisesin us and our focus shifts away from our own narrow self interest, it is as if we open an inner door. It reduces fear, boosts confidence and brings us inner strength. By reducing distrust, it opens us to others and brings us a sense of connection to others, and sense of purpose and meaning in life.”
Unfortunately, we are fed messages that encourage us to take from this world, to be selfish. It is so easy to get caught up in being consumers, rather than givers. We become so determined to acquire things that we forget how good it feels to be of service to others; to give unconditionally. My goal is to get the messages out that truly make the world go round; helping each other to help ourselves.