This past week or two has been a revelation: As I was softly wishing to myself for a life where I could contribute more — moaning really, I was in lamentations mode, lamenting the hard, close to the ground, almost in the ground business circumstances of the past three years — recent events spilled through my mind:
On back-to-back weekends Ann and I were able to help fine friends in two moves, one to an oh-so-temporary hideaway till the more permanent location became available a week later . . . .
We had a charity event at the gallery to raise funds for the holidays for foster teens in our county (a rousing success I just found out) . . . .
We loan a vehicle to a co-worker who is vehicle-less . . . .
We’re in the kid import-export biz — importing kids to our yard, exporting our kid to others’ homes, all massively helpful to parents . . . . some of whom have soul-testing circumstances of their own.
We hustle our buttocks off for clients to beautify their homes (creatify their homes!) . . . .
We support the dreams of others where we are able. . . .
So when my mental elf indignantly squealed back — “Heyyyy, a life of service looks a lot like what you are doing!” — I took notice.
Like you, we do what we can, smile when we can, donate whatever we can, absorb what we can, contribute where we can, as often as we can.
I’m inspired by those who’ve contributed mightily to our little lives, especially from family members. I want to contribute that big to someone else because I know how much it matters. It matters the sun and the moon.
To our friends who moved, there was no bigger help. All of Buffett’s billions given to charity were inconsequential to them at that time. For them, our assistance — and that from others — was consequential.
To the foster teens who will get a gift card this season, our contribution mattered. They are not swooning over aid to Africa.
If it’s true for me, it’s likely true for you. You likely do far more than you realize. And whatever it is you are able to contribute matters (monumentally) to someone.
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[Note: Originally posted three years into The Financial Crash Years that began in 2008.]