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Giving More Than You Get

I came upon this quote as I was walking down the hall in the Fairfax INOVA Hospital last week. There were plenty of other quotes displayed on this wall, but this is the one that hit me. I wasn't sure why at the time, but it struck me enough to take a photo of the display.

Whether it's someone already in your life or a person you've never met, doing for others is like putting good energy back into the world. The whole "pay it forward" concept really does work to make this world a better place. Who can go wrong with kindness? Just a few kind, but sincere words can make someone's day.

Maybe Churchill's words struck me because there are so many demands on my time right now. I have a husband, two teenage daughters and two dogs, one of whom is getting older and just had surgery. Add to that my extended family and working and writing. It becomes overwhelming very quickly.

I know that many of you are in the same boat. We all have someone or something to take care of whether it's your family, career, schoolwork, or just yourself. There are doctor appointments, endless errands, deadlines, and meals to make, just to name a few. And that's just to take care of my family. I won't lie, sometimes it's exhausting, and I want to pull my hair out. But despite my sometimes frantic schedule, this quote helped me to realize that giving to others enriches my life immensely.

Do I get overwhelmed and cranky sometimes when I take on too much? Absolutely. I am no saint, and trust me, patience is not my virtue. I know that in many of these times, I'm the one who piled tasks onto my own to-do list and made myself crazy. It's a balance, but in the end, it's worth it. The things I do to help others bring joy back to me.

There are so many ways to brighten the world. With the Hurricane Harvey devastation, you can't help but wonder how you can help the people of the Houston area. Why not donate to a charity you believe in? If all you can give is five dollars, then go for it. That's five dollars more than that organization had before your donation. Many times, volunteering for a good cause is worth much more than a donation. Do you have time you can spare for a good cause?

What are some other ways you help? The ways are countless: Mow your elderly neighbor's yard. Cook dinner for someone who's recently lost a loved one. Drive a friend to a doctor appointment. Sing at a nursing home. Volunteer at a local food pantry. Whatever you do, do it from the heart.

Give back to this world in whatever way you can. Your life will be fuller for your efforts. Just like Winston Churchill so wisely said.

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