Do you have a cause greater than yourself? Busy schedules and crazy demands challenge most of us as we balance work, health, family, finances, and a plethora of other responsibilities. These are important areas of our lives and deserve daily attention, but do they prevent us from contributing beyond our immediate world? If we do not contribute beyond our immediate world, we lose one of the greatest joys in life. The joy found in contributing to a cause greater than ourselves.
One of the sweetest experiences in human life is our ability to give. Contributing to another person is a core desire found within each of us, that is, if we have not buried it in our selfishness.
Earlier this year, I attended a conference of entrepreneurs and other small business professionals. A speaker asked the audience a question about what they lived for and gave an opportunity for five or six people to publicly respond to his question. Without exception, each person commented in some form that they want to make a difference in the lives of other people. They may not have been original, but it did prove the point that people do care about the plight of other people.
It is easy to talk yourself into the lie that you do not have much to give. It is easy to draw this conclusion when we feel spent. It is during these times we look inward and begin to feel more like a victim in need of help than a rich contributor that focuses on others. I think our ability to give has more to do with our attitude than our checkbooks.
Overcoming the feeling of victimization is possible if we latch on to a cause greater than ourselves. We need to look beyond our immediate circumstances and get out of our personal ruts.
I chose a cause that works to prevent teenage suicide by providing access to counseling to kids considering suicide. It would shock you to know how many kids are referred to this program each year. Everyone seems to have a story. Our annual fundraiser was held last weekend. It brings people together who have been touched by suicide. Contributing to this cause is an honor. This week feels different than last week because of my involvement.
Regardless of our circumstances, we can contribute to causes that help other people. In the end, the blessings you receive will exceed what you give. Here are some additional reasons I seek to participate in causes greater than myself.
- It helps me take my eyes off myself. There is a lot of “me” references in this point. I find it helpful to listen to the pronouns I use in conversation to move beyond personal ego-centrism that ultimately robs me of the joy of giving.
- It helps me keep a proper perspective. An attitude of thankfulness is very healthy and appreciated by those around us. It can also be contagious.
- It helps me be an example to others. If I join a chorus of people making a difference in the lives of other people, I participate in a compelling community for change.
- It helps me encourage and inspire others. There are no shortages of voices and messages telling people that they are in need or have problems. It is nice to be on the side of encouragement and inspiration.
I hope you do not think I am trying to sing my own praises. I serve out of necessity. Selfish living is too easy. There comes a time in our lives when we need to get over ourselves.
What do you see as the benefit of contributing to a cause greater than yourself?