“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
With birthdays come drivers license renewals and the question of whether or not to put that pink sticker on my license indicating that I am an organ donor. For me the answer is simple, yes I am. I am an organ donor because I have heard the helicopter on the roof of Children’s Hospital bringing the precious gift of life to a child.
I am an organ donor because I have watched to family friends suffer while waiting for a donor. The first friend, needed a heart transplant. He received a heart from someone who had died at the craps table in Vegas. He told me once he had his new heart, he unexpectedly found himself wanting to go to Vegas, but wouldn’t dare go by the tables. His new-found spirit was infectious.
Another dear friend of ours, and a young father of two, waited for a kidney for what seemed like an eternity. To see this vibrant man dwindle was devastating for all of us who adore him. When it seemed grim, a miracle occurred. Another’s passing gave the gift of life to our friend and he is thriving. When I saw this video I thought of both our friends.
I will be putting a new sticker on my license stating I am organ donor. I will tell my family, so that they know my wishes and you have this post as a back up. I think Emerson simply said it best, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.”
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I mark my one year anniversary as the Executive Director, of a non-profit youth leadership organization, I find myself full of gratitude. I know it is Thanksgiving week, but this is more than being grateful. I am in awe of the path that lead me to this place where I am in a position to inspire, engage and motivate hundreds of middle and high school students each year. In turn, they are in the position to do the same to me and have.
More than motivation or leadership, what I find brings me the greatest joy is living a life of purpose. I was telling a girlfriend about my job the other day and she responded, “Wow, I didn’t realize you could get paid to make the world better?” Her reaction surprised me a bit. More than that, it made me think that my “payment” is so much more than a check (don’t get me wrong, raises are always appreciated).
Of course this past year has been full of challenges and road blocks but what great adventures aren’t? Life is journey and when you get to a place on your path, when you get to be your best self and show that to others…..well there is simply no place else I would rather be.
” You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This week is all about back to school. Teaching is more than what comes from a book. School is a place where children need to learn how to be kind and compassionate. The sooner we teach and model these skills, the better our world becomes. It is just that simple.
“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!” Joey Adams
Oh, it’s that time of year again. We sit, we toil, we ponder and then the tv ad is over and we abandon the thought of those nagging New Year’s Resolutions. For me, it is a process I have embraced for as long as I could hold a pen. The more tragic part of that is looking back each year at those resolutions that I did not complete or achieve.
However, the flip side is there are usually more achieved than not and each year my goals become a tad more realistic…Ok I confess, last year I did write down an absurd amount of Twitter followers that I had hoped to coax to the nest….but I’m a big dreamer….I think you all know that by now. Looking back, maybe I was a bit too optimistic?
However, if we don’t give ourselves a moment to dream, to really think about what we want then how are we ever to achieve it? This year one resolution that I hope to achieve is to revamp The Charity-Matters web-site. Phew, I said it. Now, for the follow through.
Well, I am so glad you are here to hold my feet to the fire, to complete the resolutions and to enjoy every precious moment of the journey. As Emerson said, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” I guess that way regardless of resolution its perfect either way. That is one resolution worth adding to the list this year. What are your resolutions?
“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today is Thanksgiving and it is a day set aside for gratitude, which is why I love this day so much! There are so many things that I am thankful for and you are at the top of my list. You have been here every week reading Charity Matters, cheering me on with story ideas, commenting when a post touches you and sharing posts with friends. I am so truly grateful for you.
Your own giving of time and your excitement to share your favorite cause fill my heart each and everyday. As, I sit here up at the lake surrounded by family and friends my cup is running over. I have been given so much and feel the need to give as much back as I possibly can and I get the sense you feel the same way too.
So wherever you are this year, serving meals to the homeless, slaving away in your kitchen cooking or simply watching football on TV, know that I am grateful for you, your support and all you give of yourself to others.