Others: When I was a little girl, I remember my mom taking Mrs. Lindley to appointments for radiation. I could tell, even at my young age, what a gift my mom was giving this lady. She was so sick with breast cancer and had no one else to drive her. My mom also worked at a free clinic that provided much needed medical care. She told us stories of ladies coming in with their children, and how good it made her feel to be able to help in some small way. My mom really put Others first even when she was busy with raising us and helping my dad with his construction business. I am so grateful to Mom for her example.
When my kids were small, I found a Lion's Club program called HELP! We provided rides to medical appointments for anyone who needed one. To begin with, I was the one who called and coordinated rides. What a blessing! This was a win-win situation. Most of the drivers were retired and were anxious to help, and those who needed rides got not only a ride, but someone compassionate to listen to them.
It was amazing seeing how my own children behaved when we had a fragile rider in the car. All of a sudden their petty arguments just melted away. They quietly listened to people's life stories. Now that my kids are grown, I can see their giving hearts in how they are living their lives.
One lady, who had terminal cancer, was amazing. She lived in this bare, run down studio apartment and had no family in the area. One time, when I was picking her up I noticed brown paper signs over each of her 2 doors. (Only 2 doors. Count how many doors are in your home.) I asked her about them. She told me that when she grew up her grandfather had hand carved oak signs that said "Others" over each door in his house. She said he told her to always think of others. The harder life gets the more we need to find ways to help others. She said she had volunteered her whole life and was still helping by making phone calls. Her belief was that by focusing on others she made her last days richer, and she avoided self pity.
We only drove her a few times before she passed away. Yet the impact she had on my life was huge. I share her story with my students and my Young Life kids. There are Others signs over so many doors in our little town because of her story. I thank God for her touching my life and helping me touch Others.