Helping Others by Helping Ourselves

Witnessing firsthand and personally experiencing too many of those aforementioned harmful effects in my life manifests deep pain and empathy for people, which is a pivotal reason for choosing to help others. A dominant universal goal regarding all spiritual realms is to mitigate pain and suffering. Caring for individuals working as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse constantly makes me question, “Is there something we as a community, society, nation, and global enterprise can do to help prevent these tragic fatalities?” Tears of compassion and frustration well up and trickle down an anguished face, while contemplating the horrors that families of these loved ones face and endure.

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized that I was somebody” (Lily Tomlin). Can such tragedies be averted? Young teenagers and adults are too often admitted for heroin overdoses with irreversible anoxic brain injuries, while ventilators keep their bodies alive as the brain swells, crushing parts of the cerebrum or spinal cord ending in brain death. All four extremities spastically and uncontrollably jerk up and down with both eyes transiently shooting open seemingly bulging from their skulls as their necrotic viscera pour out. Paralytics are administered because families do not need to witness such horror. Others drink themselves silly, which leads to irreversible pancreatitis or hepatic destruction, culminating in multisystem organ failure and subsequent death.

Even today, visualizing and feeling the glowing warmth, energy, kindness, and friendly smile radiating from a fellow high school classmate’s face 20 years later is poignantly palpable. His abundant energy, radiant countenance, joy, and ability to make others laugh was contagious. He made the tragic decision to try heroin one time, which ended his short life. Let’s decide to help others make better choices by making them for ourselves first.

Wondrous Gifts

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own” (Benjamin Disraeli). Each of us has profound gifts, talents, skills, and abilities that can bolster ourselves and everyone around us to new levels of greatness. Let’s encourage and help one another find, develop and release individualized gifts into the universe for others to enjoy and benefit from. We have the capability to truly change the world one person at a time. That able and gifted individual starts with you. Additionally, a few people working together on the same mission really can change humanity in a positive, productive, innovative, and purpose-driven way.

Happiness

“You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough” (Mary Jane West). Let’s not take our gifts, talents, skills, abilities, or money with us to our grave. Don’t wander through life without meaning and purpose. Don’t measure success with society’s yardstick of success, power, status, money, and fame. Instead, focus on making a difference by impacting and influencing positive change in yourself, others, your community and country, as well as the world. People are influenced not by your social status, nearly as much as by how much you care about them. Show your family, friends and those around you how much you care by telling them, writing letters, and doing spontaneous acts of kindness for them. Show love in daily practices toward all humankind. Lead rather than manage people.

Additionally, happiness ensues through making one’s own decisions, not someone choosing for you. A young dog once thought happiness lived in his tail, thus choosing to chase his tail perpetually. He talked to an older dog about happiness being in his tail. This older dog said, “Everybody knows happiness is in the tail, but I don’t chase after mine. Wherever I go and whatever I do, my tail always follows.”

Hopeful Action

During a Kari Jobe concert a man spoke about a young boy he observed while on a missionary trip. The child kept tiptoeing up to a volunteer missionary lady and saying, “Hola,” with a great big universal smile spanning from ear-to-ear while giving her monstrous hugs. The boy would hold the woman tight in his arms, while grinning extremely wide, day in and day out. He said, “Hola,” hugged her, smiled enormously large, and darted away. The boy’s behavior began to seem peculiar. Later, the volunteer missionary man found out through a translator that the boy had been bounced from one home to another, over and over, throughout his young life. From the ages of four through twelve, the boy fought to stay alive, while transiently living alone on perilous streets in isolated regions of South America. Finally, the young boy found a home where he became loved unconditionally and consistently, which gave him stability and hope.

“…Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35 NIV). Nourishing our mind, body, spirit, and soul with truths and life-giving principles keeps our cups plentiful. Worry does not add life, peace, joy, health, wealth, love, or any good thing to anyone. Stop being anxious and let it go. Be grateful for everything, use it advantageously for good, and drive on. The road toward sunrises and sunsets are but one beautiful ride. Replace fault-finding with good-finding and change pessimism to optimism, therefore transforming your life.

“I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLV). Moreover, the pain and suffering that child endured and overcame instilled strength, courage, resilience, and compassion into the depths of his soul. The boy cried when the volunteer lady had to leave because she reminded him of his new mom whom loved and cared for him dearly. The boy was immensely grateful.

Furthermore, through World Vision, a 13 year-old boy from Ghana in need of sanitary water, food, shelter, education, and hope is being sponsored. I am not asking anyone for donations to this cause, although start someplace by giving a portion of your money, time, talents, gifts, skills or abilities to a mission, vision, and purpose you believe to be worthy. Ideally, 80% or more of your monetary donation should go strictly toward the helpful cause and not to overhead, such as administration and marketing costs. Investigate and choose accordingly. Giving not only shows that we care, but creates an abundance mindset that we have more than enough. The character built through giving is infinitely more valuable than the act itself.

“Don’t be misled, you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant” (Galatians 6:7 NIV). God knows our heart’s genuine intentions, therefore let’s purify our love with sincere wholesome purpose. We truly do reap what we sow, thus sow seeds of greatness, today.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant” (Robert Louis Stevenson). The art of living is sowing seeds of greatness, much more so than reaping. Let serving and giving be pivotal maps that direct decision-making. The byproducts of giving and helping others think, grow, and become their best is cosmically of greater value than monetary gains.

Eternal Sharing

“Thousands of candles can be lightened from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” (Buddha). Never underestimate the vast glory and power of a soul on fire. One person has the influence and ability to change the world, sending ripples of greatness, inspiration, and love that bolsters the human condition worldwide.

Be You

“Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential” (Andy Stanley). Be brutally honest while self-reflecting on right and wrong. Your answers are perceptions related to personal principles, beliefs, and experiences. Make sure your ideal self and real self are congruent, therefore creating peace and abundant fulfillment within. What do you stand for and why?

“Sometimes what counts can’t be counted, and what can be counted doesn’t count” (Albert Einstein). Do not compare yourself with anyone, except who you were yesterday. Your very own intangible character traits based upon what you stand for helps preserve visions, dreams, and goals while persevering toward greatness, despite adversity. Know both what to do and what not to do in varying situations, thus expediting your journey toward becoming the best version of yourself. Furthermore, another person’s perspective, especially from a leader, mentor, counselor or coach can guide, teach, inspire and direct our steps, additionally, helping to hold us accountable. Strive toward becoming the person you truly desire and are fully capable of being. Be you!—everyone else is taken.

Gifts are a Choice

“Always be a little kinder than necessary” (Sir James Matthew Barrie). Be considerate too. What kind and helpful things can you do for someone today? If we are not focusing on sharing and offering positive thoughts, deeds, peace, and kindness to the world than we can decide to change our thoughts, attitudes, vocabulary, words, actions, and behaviors before it’s too late, thus helping others and ourselves.

We harvest seedlings planted in either fertile or desolate rock and weed infested soil. Start plucking unwanted thorns and weeds from your mind, in turn, producing health, wealth, love, and joyfulness. Choose to gift yourself the blessings of eliminating devastating anger and resentment from your life, today. Unnecessary pain and suffering gradually subsides into oblivion. Call, write, or just choose to forgive.

Sprinkles of Love and Understanding

Endorphins fight pain and can create a sense of euphoria, which increase with illicit and prescribed opioid use, laughter, coitus, and aerobic more so than anaerobic exercise. Oxytocin creates a bond between people that is released with physical touch. Cortisol is a stress hormone that facilitates the fight-or-flight response by fueling the release of sugar reserves when in danger, which is good, although a constant surge may create harmful blood glucose elevations and can suppress the immune system. Epinephrine or adrenaline release through fight-or-flight, negative thoughts, stress, pain, powerful emotions, such as anger, and stimulants can cause vasoconstriction, hypertension, and increased glucose levels.

Moreover, a continually elevated blood pressure can lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and heart attack, among other undesirable ailments. Chronically increased blood sugar levels may cause diabetes, which has the potential to create each of the aforementioned disease processes and a myriad more. We are able to prevent, stop, or decrease the likeliness toward acquiring those ailments by controlling and mastering ourselves. Decide to eat less salt, sugar, and saturated fats, therefore mitigating the possibility of succumbing to unwarranted effects we do not desire in our lives.

Salt, saturated fats, and especially sugar can create instant gratification by dissolving rapidly on our tongue, creating a positive stimuli-habit-reward feedback loop. Like a dog being conditioned to salivate upon hearing a bell, immediately anticipating food, we too can be programmed in a similar manner. Fortunately, we can change our behavior, input, and responses to stimuli through intentional conscious control, therefore leading to subconscious automatic actions. This is why it is crucial not to eat candy, drink pop or chew gum full of sugar while trying to quit smoking or give up any bad habit.

No matter what, love and accept yourself where you are. Don’t procrastinate becoming the best you possible. Help yourself and others compassionately, not hoping for healing or success by passively standing by without action. Forget the plan, lest paralysis by analysis sets in. Just decide and get busy doing it. Begin living your dream life today.

You’re Not Alone

You are not alone in your suffering. No matter what you are going through or have gone through there is someone both better and worse off. People have overcome exactly whatever difficulties, tragedies, terrors, and challenges you’ve experienced or are experiencing. Always try doing your best, while letting go of the past. Live in the present, hoping for and cultivating your future. Plans backed by action pave uncharted roads toward discovering newfound joy and peace, hence success.   

Speak in Love

“Whoever destroys a single life is as guilty as though he had destroyed the entire world; and whoever rescues a single life earns as much merit as though he had rescued the entire world” (The Talmud). Be vigilant about who you are and what you say and do because others are watching and listening, therefore being impacted whether you know it or not. Words have the power to kill or give new life. Words are like the ripples in a placid pond after a rock is thrown, sending vibrations of love or hate into our world. Be aware about how you speak—in verbiage, day-to-day conversation, silence, tone, enthusiasm, influence, and writing. Is love emanating from you?