“There is no joy in possession without sharing.” – Erasmus
There’s so much work to be done.
We’re fortunate to live in a time with so much freedom and prosperity. Medical science has developed surgical techniques and drugs that can cure injuries and diseases that meant certain death just a generation ago. Most of us can access information on any topic at any time from almost anywhere. Technology has developed to the point where the “6 degrees of separation” has been reduced to only 4.
At the same time, these benefits aren’t distributed evenly. Around the world, in our own country, and in our own towns, homelessness remains an unsolved issue. Many can’t afford to take advantage of the medical services available. There are violent and oppressive governments forcing people to become refugees in search of safety.
The technology that connects us also magnifies the impact of disasters. Viral videos make us all witness to natural and man-made catastrophes. We now know people directly impacted by storms, fires and shootings, even when they take place thousands of miles away. The 24-hour news cycle doesn’t allow us to hide from the issues.
It may seem overwhelming, leaving us with feelings of powerlessness. We have a choice – a decision – to do something. We can start by sharing our gifts.
Some people are fortunate and are able to find professions compatible with their gifts. Those that serve in the military or in public safety. Artists whose creations inspire our imaginations. Teachers who don’t just share knowledge but foster a love of learning in their students.
The people behind the scenes, while in less glamorous roles, provide important service. The public works employees keeping the infrastructure intact. Postal workers and transportation companies delivering the physical component of the internet economy. Everyone willing to put in the long hours at a job to provide for their families. Most of us fall in that last category.
With all that work taking up so much time, how do we do more? What else can we do?
Reach further into your hidden wealth. You may be a wonderful cook who can share a meal with a friend. Or maybe you’re a writer, who can pen a note of encouragement to someone who’s struggling. Perhaps you have some spare time and are able help out a local community organization. Even if it’s just an hour or two a month.
We all can share more charity. Not donations of money, but the lesser used meaning of “charity” – kindness and tolerance in judging others. We can listen with the hope of understanding. Yes, there are many differences, but we have more in common than extremists want us to see.
Of course, the greatest gift is when we share a part of ourselves. Our smiles. Our hugs. Our love. Creating small moments that have a powerful impact on the people in our lives. Those moments make a difference.
There is so much to do. And we have so much to give.