For many years I
slaved worked in a business that took homes from people who couldn’t afford to keep them, sometimes it felt like it was sucking the soul right out of me. The first few years I actually had a conscience about it. That faded as the years rolled on and the stories became less sympathetic to me. I think when you work in a negative environment like that it just sucks the life out of you. I don’t blame my employers, supervisors or co-workers, they were all in the same boat as I was. In fact, quite a few had health problems as I also ended up with. After leaving that industry, things have turned around for the better and I can say I have forged a few strong and beautiful friendships out of it. So, it was not a complete train wreck…it also paid the bills and kept food on my table.
With the last year and a half of my being out of that industry and getting my physical health somewhat back on track it is time to work on the health of my spirit and soul. Time to give back to the community in some way throughout the year. It feels good, kinda like Michael felt when the Head Vampire finally was killed and his blood became human and alive again. (if you don’t get the Lost Boys reference, shame on you!).. but that it feeds other people’s spirits in returning the positive energy to the universe and “paying it forward” is a sunshiney (yes, that is a word) feeling for me. Helping someone with the excess I have because someone helped me. Previous, I had not really been doing enough and I was using the excuse that money was tight.
Over the years I have mostly done this by donating money to the red buckets outside stores at Christmas time and donating for charities as gifts.
This year I have an opportunity to giving more of myself and am committed to doing so. For the first time we are financially secure enough that I don’t need to work for us to pay our bills and the fact is, my health suffered so much that it is my main focus now. I will be using my time to do what feels right.
The other night when we walk passed the local girl’s group on base who had a bake sale stand up on the way home from dinner. I didn’t need a cupcake so I just donated $5.00 for their cause. It was really cool to see them so enthusiastic about their stand and they were so thankful for my stopping to help out. I have no idea what they were collecting for but it felt good to help out and not walk away with a sweet that I didn’t need to eat. We don’t need to purchase anything, just donate…not donut.
Working at a place that supports military families who struggle financially also contributes to my commitment to help. It was truly amazing that the absolutely perfect position opened up and took me in when we arrived in Japan. I was hoping for a charitable type organization (I was going to try for the Red Cross) which helps the community and wouldn’t stress me out. One that would be part time, maybe 20 hours per week and allows for me to take a long weekend now and then for us to be able to explore Japan. That is exactly what I was offered…and bonus of being paid to do it and it’s tax free…hah!
I will also be volunteering to help my husband’s command with booths set up for on base events like this weekend. The base opens up to the local community for what they call Friendship Day. The local people can come on base and eat American food, listen to American music, watch fireworks and walk around some.
There is a weekly feed the homeless group that meets up out in town which I hope to join up with. It doesn’t seem very organized, just people bring what they can to pass out to the homeless in the area. I feel very strongly about not giving homeless money, it’s just usually not helpful to them. They use it for drugs or alcohol instead of food or shelter. Offering them food directly is so much more helpful in my opinion.
I recognize that in the end, the above are rather selfish acts in that the feeling of humanity within myself is the reward but it’s still helping others right? So, I will continue to do what I can and reap the spiritual benefits in hopes that my small contribution made a difference to someone else’s life.