Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?"
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We all have a duty to do good.
-- Pope Francis
love these quotes, which are wonderful reminders of the importance of doing good.
I do a fair amount of volunteer work now that I
am retired. The causes closest to my heart are helping to feed the hungry and being a voice for wolves. I volunteer once a week at a local food pantry, preparing
and packaging food for distribution to the needy. Along with a friend I
met at the pantry, I also have volunteered at one-time events at other food
distribution efforts. It's a great way to socialize and have fun, while
helping others at the same time. I also volunteer with a wolf rescue
organization in the area, doing photography, helping with the
organization's Web page and outreach events, and managing its Facebook
page. Once a year I also spearhead the development of its calendar, a
major fundraising effort.
I also donate money
to a variety of charities. I want to see the good my
donations can do, while I am still alive, rather than having the money
donated after I am no longer here. Yet despite these efforts, I feel that I
should be doing even more. I am blessed to have the good health, time and financial resources to help.
I have been thinking about becoming a volunteer driver in the American
Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program. For many reasons, getting to
and from treatment appointments is a challenge to many people. Some
people don't have a car, and some are unable to drive themselves. I
could help out by driving people to treatment.
As I have become older, I have felt a
stronger call to get more involved in the things that are important to
me. I suppose this is a natural result of getting older -- wanting to leave a positive mark on the world, and to perhaps leave things better than they were. To be sure, there is so much more that I could be doing.
I was talking to another volunteer at the food pantry one week about the importance of keeping busy and staying involved as we get older. She will be 85 next month, and she volunteers at the pantry two mornings each week. We both agreed that volunteering is so much better than just sitting at home alone, watching television or being bored. Volunteering helps the organization for which we volunteer and the people it serves, but it also helps us. It keeps us active and involved, and it feels good to be able to help the less fortunate in some small way.
Doing for others is important for another reason -- it can help us keep our own problems and worries in perspective. Doing for others should make us realize how blessed we are, and that there are so many people in the world who have so little.
So, "what are you doing for others?"