“Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when lived for others.” Helen Keller
When we are dealing daily with a chronic illness, it can take all of our attention, and eventually we can begin to believe that we are of no use to anyone. We can arrive at this thought quite honestly, since indeed some illnesses do require a significant amount of our life’s focus and attention.
We know that service to others is one of the most significant aspects, if not the most fulfilling aspect of living; so we all want to participate in that. You still can, regardless of what you have to deal with physically, yourself.
If a blind, deaf, mute woman (Helen Keller) can realize that life is most fulfilling when lived for others, I think any of us can focus on service to others. There is no lack of need for service in our world.
Even the slightest gestures of kindness toward another person can make a huge difference in their lives. A smile, an offer of assistance (even when refused), or our listening ear for a few minutes can change a person’s life. Years ago when I wrestled with anxiety and depression on a regular basis, I have received hope from even a stranger giving me a brief smile when passing on the street. To this day when I start to feel a little discouraged, I am personally inspired and encouraged by people I know who deal daily with significant physical problems, but manage to show kindness to others.
You have a treasure of kindness in you to give to a world of people who are feeling fearful, angry, hopeless, and powerless. Suicide has increased in all age groups but is epidemic among teens. Even small children experience such despair as to take their own lives. Poverty and homelessness are on the rise. These are just two examples of many I could give of very great needs in our world. Your small acts of kindness can give hope, encouragement, and make a real difference in people’s lives. You can’t wipe out all of the despair in the world; but giving hope to just one person can have a global effect.
You are just exactly what a hurting word needs.
Christopher Knippers, Ph.D. June 21, 2017