Monday, April 14, 2014

What can I give? What can I do?

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. 
                                                                                                                --Mother Teresa

My mother didn't tell me this, and she was no Mother Teresa, but she lived it. I watched Mother and her relationship with other people from the time I was a small child. She didn't run around looking for places to be of use. She had a large family, seven kids, and a farmer husband. She didn't have extra cash stashed to donate to others. But when a neighbor was in need, mother comforted her, gave her refuge from an abusive husband. When a relative lost a child, Mother was there to listen to the same stories over and over poured out with a cascade of tears. When a poor family had needs, Mother could find some way to make things better. I didn't know, of course, when I was observing her, that I was learning how to live my own life, and I was learning from a master teacher.

In the mail, every day, I am inundated with solicitations from organizations as varied in their needs as The Baptist Children's Home to the Democratic Party. My telephone rings and I see numbers from far away cities that I know are charities wanting my money. I just don't pick up anymore. 

On the TV news I see earthquakes, mudslides, refugees of war, and my heart aches for those people caught in the worst of all situations. I am overwhelmed with so much need and suffering in this world. If only I were strong and healthy enough to go and help, but I am not. Those days are gone for me now.

Although I have always been frugal with my resources and saved for my retirement, the nagging worry still hangs over me. Will I outlive my savings, my nest egg?

Are the needs of others more important than my own? If I give to all the organizations that ask, will I one day find I am among those doing the requesting?


I have made the decision to help one person at a time and to start with the person nearest me. 
I will help him/her in the way that is best for me. What do I have to offer? Not money. Not physical strength. 

  • I can offer what I know about writing, about publishing, about marketing, about building relationships, about organizing events and I can offer ideas to improve my community. 
  • I can offer to help those who have lost loved ones and have trouble moving on and finding purpose. My experience in that department is vast.
  • I can offer sympathy and empathy where it is needed. I can offer encouragement to that young person who has yet to enter the arena, to pursue her dreams, to take the risks involved to become a success. I can be there as backup if needed. 
  • I can share what I know with mature adults who want to be remembered for the lives they have lived - either by their family or by the world at large. I can and do help them find a way. I can listen. Sometimes that is the most important thing we can do - simply listen.


2 comments:

Maren O. Mitchell said...

Glenda, these are all true thoughts and actions - I agree with you. Go, gal, go!

Glenda Beall said...

Thanks, Maren, for your comment. Do you know that when you comment on a blog, the search engines pick up on it and your comments become part of who you are on the Internet?
Your comments help in building your identity.