This week I wanted to delve into the thinking of the altruistic people who are making their piece of the world a little better for the disadvantaged folks.
Why do they do it? What motivates people to set aside their otherwise successful lives for months or years and go into areas where they risk malaria, kidnappings, food poisoning, natural disasters, and other hardships? While the rest of the world is clawing their way to the top of their professional heaps, these folks are seeking out the poorest and most destitute of our human family. How do humanitarians consider this a ‘œVery Good Idea’?
Well, as one of those seemingly crazy folks, I can offer you this insight. For me, it is because the success of amassing wealth in my home country could not mask or distract me from the devastating impoverishment that I saw while on a trip to Latin America several years ago. It feels good to look at a bank statement with a digit followed by a lot of zeros. It feels even better to share some of it with those who I knew had no drinking water, who lived in unsanitary and destitute conditions. Coming to Peru to create a project of my own was personally more rewarding than any previous successes, whether professional or personal.
(Photo: Facebook/ Jim Killon)
As human beings, we were designed to be a sharing species. We are not lone eagles sitting on a rocky perch fending for ourselves exclusively. We are herd animals, so to speak. It is our true nature to take care of our tribe. When we reach out to others in need we get a rush of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Those ‘œfeel good’ chemicals in our brains act in concert with our true nature.
Modern day marketing has led us to believe that we are living in scarcity if we do not have, buy, use, believe, or amass for yourselves quickly, before it is all gone. The scarcity mentality is an illusion for most of us in the developed world. Once we shake that off and live in our true nature, sharing and caring for our human family, we will realize how powerful, wealthy and purpose driven we actually are.
Humanitarians found the notion of sharing, not sacrifice. Reaching out to the disadvantaged comes back to us in forms of love, compassion, and understanding, a wealth that few of us ever experience fully. In my e-book, ‘œLiving Large Living Deliberately’, I wrote about the irony of giving of yourself and actually having more as a result. Consider what a beautiful world we would live in if we all shared just ten minutes a day helping someone else selflessly. Does it come back to you? Absolutely! In ways that you can not begin to imagine.
Step out onto the ice of compassionate living. It will be scary at first but when you see that you won’t fall through and freeze to death, you will be out there happily dancing with the rest of us.
Until next week, Live large my friends, live deliberately!
If you’re looking for more today, check out the May issue of The Changes for New Hope Humanitarian Awards Magazine.