“I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” -Maya Angelou
As we go through the latter stages of our lives, we see more clearly the sacrifice and devotion of our parents, heroes, friends and acquaintances. The stories we have witnessed or heard about become part of our history and we have an opportunity to pass it on to the next generation. They, in turn, pass it on to their children and to the people they are connected with.
This old world needs more goodness, kindness and compassion. Charitable acts stir us to better ourselves and to pass them on to others. Those who display character traits such as benevolence, mercy, forgiveness and thoughtfulness make lasting impressions.
My grandfather died of cancer when I was a child. We were quite close and he chose to leave me a gift of ice skates with the instruction that I was never to let them pass from my hands. This was to be my memory keepsake of my relationship with him. I knew my grandparents were very poor and that this was a sacrificial gift. Those ice skates have never left my care and, 57 years later, I still remember him with fondness and his love for me.
In previous columns, I have quoted and commented on the life of Mother Teresa and her service to the poor of Calcutta. Another modern day example of someone with a servant’s heart is Heidi Baker who gave up a life of privilege in the U.S. to serve the poor of Mozambique. For the past 30 years, she and her husband have been caring for orphans and establishing children’s feeding centres in that impoverished nation.
These two women have demonstrated a higher purpose for their lives than the desire for self-fulfillment that is pervasive in our society.
“Love has no meaning if it isn’t shared. Love has to be put into action. You have to love without expectation, do something for love itself, not for what you may receive.” -Malcolm Muggeridge, Something Beautiful for God: Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“Love in action is what gives us grace. We have been created for greater things - to love and to be loved. Love is love - to love a person without any conditions, without any expectations. Small things, done in great love, bring joy and peace. To love, it is necessary to give. To give, it is necessary to be free from selfishness.” -Mother Teresa, In My Own Words
JUNE 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER & LOWER MAINLAND
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