What’s on my mind is a slight departure from my usual advice and encouragement, maybe a tad “heavier” than usual, but hear me out!
I recently took part in a fast, not the de-toxing kind that I wrote about last month, but rather a “what does it feel like to be truly hungry” kind of fast. I did this with 20 15-18 year olds and the other adults who work with this Youth Group. We did it to raise money to feed hungry people and to raise our own awareness of how others with less are actually living.
It was hard! I had a head ache and a belly ache! We all just wanted the 30 hours to end, and lucky us, after that 30 hours, we KNEW we would have food. All we wanted. SO I kind of can’t stop thinking about it. It’s just overwhelming to think of how life is for folks in other places on the planet. So then, I thought about what I do day to day, here at the Oaks, trying to encourage myself and others to eat right, in moderation, and live healthfully.
I still believe everything I teach, whole heartedly. I still want to be healthy. I want you to be healthy too! I can’t feel badly about being an American, being blessed, or having enough. It’s my life. I can feel differently though, about sharing and being more grateful for what I have. I can embrace simplicity, not as the new cool modality, but maybe living more simply so others simply can live because I chose to give from my abundance to someone who was not born where I was.
I can also work on replacing in regard to food obsession & indulgence on one hand or severe self deprivation & neglect on the other hand with a more moderate attitude towards food.
So my encouragement is in this. In the midst of your doing your best to be healthy and to make changes in your life that facilitate that goal, don’t underestimate the power of gratitude. Be a tad less self focused and focus a tad more on the big picture in this big world and get involved. Every investment we make in the lives of others ends up benefitting us, too!
Journalist Bill Maxwell, in a Florida University Commencement Address said, “Whether you know it or not, you are privileged people. You are graduating from a fine school, with a degree that will open doors. As privileged people, you have a moral obligation to serve others. Merely accumulating wealth is not enough. You have an obligation to invent, to produce, to create, to deliver goods and services that make life better for the greatest number of people.
If you have been blessed with a brilliant mind, you should use it for good. You have an obligation to teach others. What, for example, can you do to help feed hungry people? To find cures for the world’s fatal diseases? If you become a lawyer, will you regularly work pro bono for the poor? Establish a foundation that will empower children from low-income families to attend college. Tutor children in your spare time. Help illiterate adults learn to read or help them fill out legal documents necessary for daily living.
So, I say this to you: If you go into the world and serve others, you will give meaning to life itself. You will fulfill our purpose for being on planet Earth. Remember that service to others ennobles us. It gives us moral authority. This is my simple advice to you. Good luck and use your good fortune to serve others.”
Happy June & thanks for reading this!