A former co-worker and I had a running joke. When one of us complained about stuff or spoke of being really excited about something, the other would lean over and chime in, “Umm, it’s not all about you.”
Even though we were kidding around, the truth is that life is definitely not about any one person.
I’ve been so inspired lately by friends giving back to the community. A big group of friends participated in or donated to the March of Dimes March for Babies this past weekend, a friend ran the half marathon for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital April 27 and another is running to raise money for ALS research at Johns Hopkins this weekend.
Today, my friend Leigh organized a small group of us to volunteer to serve breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore. I’ve always admired Leigh’s sense of enthusiasm and her leadership when it comes to rallying, organizing and giving back. We brought our assigned breakfast food and came in and prepared sausage, scrambled eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy and pastries … all with a sense of camaraderie.
Every person who ate was so courteous and thankful, and we were particularly charmed by one young man, Zeq, whose story you can find on his Facebook page.
As we were standing in the kitchen, another friend commented that your problems suddenly don’t seem so significant when you hear about the situations some people are facing, such as trying to raise $15,000 for a therapy dog so your child can attend school.
I’m often in awe of people who dedicate so much of their time to volunteering, and I hope to follow in the footsteps of people like Leigh, who always seem to do so with such boundless energy.
It reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite books, “tuesdays with Morrie.”
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” – Mitch Albom
So as you go through this week and those to come, try to do something to give back. And remember that it’s not all about you.