For the past, oh I don’t know, 4 years I think, I have been choosing a word to focus on for the year rather than specific goals or resolutions. This year it was presence. This is part of why I got off Facebook, but also a bit of what prompted me to get back on. I was definitely very present in my life, situations, and surroundings while gone from Facebook, but I also did miss a lot of certain people’s lives. And these people are important to me. Obviously I learned that balance really is key.
I don’t think any of the years I’ve done this, I’ve had my word so early. It has been coming up with increasing regularity in my mind. Service. I keep thinking that there are so many people out there in need of help. And I think I do a decent job of helping my friends and family out when they need it, if I can. Sure, we do some charity things too. I donate to multiple charities, we have a sponsor child in Egypt, and we do Santa’s Anonymous every single year. I have a few other plans in ways that I wanted to help out in the near future. But there are a LOT of people in our world, who need someone to help them in some way.
The ways that I can help vary depending on the situation and my own life. Sometimes I am able to give money. Sometimes I’m really only able to lend an ear. The other day when we were delivering gifts for Santa’s Anonymous, a gentleman in the parking lot waved us over and said he needed help. Sean didn’t even hear the man but I did, so I told Sean that we needed to go over and help him with whatever he needed. Turns out he just needed a car seat installed, and Sean happens to be pretty handy at that sort of thing, so he did that while I looked on. Even though I didn’t really do anything, I felt good because I knew that whatever small child was going to be riding in that seat, would be safe.
Last week when I was in Superstore waiting to get my groceries run through the till, there were two gentleman in front of me. When they heard the total, somewhere around $112, one of them gave a pile of bills in 5s and 10s. The cashier counted it, wrong first, and when she counted it again I watched to make sure she did it right. The gentlemen seemed quite confused about the money, and the cashier informed them they still owed just under $2. I could tell they didn’t understand quite what was going on, so I tried to explain to them how much money they had given her and that they still owed just a handful of change. The one guy seemed embarrassed and apologized and we got it sorted out. I told him it wasn’t a problem at all and he mentioned that he’s not from here. I asked him where he is from and it turns out Mexico. I offered him smiles and really just a kind attitude. I hope that it helped make him feel a little better about the whole situation.
I’ve felt so many times this year, that I haven’t been doing enough for humanity. So for 2013, a large focus will be service to others. Of course this also requires balance. I cannot ignore my family, responsibilities, existing relationships, etc. And service to others need not always be on some grand scale as the previous 2 examples clearly show. But I do feel that need to do more. And so I will.