I am a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. As such, I have a pretty big dose of enemies and critics – which, honestly, is fine. ‘Haters always gonna hate’, right? But, just as a little FYI, as an active member, I’m regularly encouraged to serve others (within, or outside the Church) in whatever capacity I can. Which is very cool to me. That’s what is on my mind today, as I’m stuck here in bed nursing an arthritis flare up and can’t do much of anything but sit around.
Being disabled, I’m typically on the receiving end of service – especially when I’m down with my health. I do appreciate it, and don’t want to sound ungrateful. But, my opportunities to reciprocate are pretty limited – whether due to my physical ability or just plain lack of opportunity. People like to second-guess my ability levels a LOT, instead of just asking, “Hey, can you do X for me?” Which makes me a little sad, as I really do have a desire to help out if I can.
I’ve found a place, though, where no one really does that. I get the typical “do you need any help?”-type questions. But once past that, I’m left to my own devices – and I LOVE it! So where is this awesome place? In the LDS temple. It is literally my ‘Heaven on Earth’, as when I’m there, my wheelchair isn’t the main focus. No one cares if my hair is styled a certain way, or what clothes I’m wearing, or what I do for a living – or if I’m even standing up or sitting down. I get to help, and serve, and be a part of something greater than myself. It’s not about me at all – and I can’t even tell you how much that means to me!
I think we’ve become a pretty ‘gimme’ society. A self-serving, ‘what’s in it for me?’, world – and I absolutely hate that mentality! Not that people are all inherently bad. The whole sense of entitlement just grates on me, though, as for me, being able to do things for myself is very, very powerful – and I just don’t understand people willingly giving that up.
To that end, I would like to propose a challenge. There are no requirements here. Church membership is not required. No physical prizes will be given. (Maybe when Ed McMahon comes back from the dead and brings me my million dollars, I can afford to do that! Ha!) But, I promise, the reward will be far greater than whatever money can buy.
For the next week, take a few minutes of your life each day and give it to someone else. I know that’s not an easy request, as everyone is busy and time is precious. But, try to do something for someone else that they can’t do for themselves. Not necessarily a disabled person – but anyone (whether you know them or not) can qualify. Do we not all have needs in one form or another? In fact, challenge yourself to find needs beyond the visually obvious. Do something for someone else that you’d appreciate someone else doing for you. Maybe you’ve thought about a particular person’s need at some point, but didn’t have the opportunity at the time? Do it now!
The world is a becoming an increasingly angry and hurtful place to live. Refuse to be a contributor. What can YOU do to make life suck a little less for someone else? There is strength in kindness. There is power in noticing the one who feels constantly invisible. Right now, you might be the one saying, “that person is me”. I know. I get it! But trust me on this. There is a joy to be had when we let go of ourselves – even if for just a few minutes a day – and give the happiness we want for ourselves to someone else. Are you up for it? Please say yes! You’re even welcome to recruit your friends in the challenge, if you want to do it, but don’t want to do it alone. The more, the merrier, right?
The point is, there is still a lot of goodness to be had in the world. Regardless of what the current media reports are, there are still good people. There are still beautiful things to discover and amazing places to explore. If the world isn’t willing to change for you, be the change you want to see in the world. The goodness you contribute WILL come back to you! Never give up. Never give in to the haters. Keep smiling! You’re worth it!