Henry David Thoreau once said “Maturity is when all your mirrors turn into windows”. Because my whole career has been spent interacting with all types of different personalities, I have grown to appreciate this observation. My own awareness has become keener as I myself mature and age.
I have met people who live their lives surrounded by mirrors. Their agenda is simply their own. Their care and concern is about their own feelings, wants and they focus on getting what it is they desire. They have yet to see that you will always be the winner by giving more than you receive.
I must say however, I believe this is what makes a community special. I know I live is a city filled with windows. Our natural tendency is to give and care for others. We respect others viewpoints and listen to all sides and try to do what is fair.
My mentor lived her life surrounded by gloriously lite windows. They brightened everyone who came in contact with her and gave her a natural beautiful glow. She changed the lives of all who came in contact with her. She was relentless in her pursuit to help, even if others avoided her because of it. That was Joyce’s gift.
Reality is this aspect of our communities could change dramatically in the next ten to fifteen years. Some of our key philanthropists could well be retired by then. I believe this is our responsibility as parents and citizens to instill the desire to take care for our community into the next generation. We owe it to help this generation understand that giving and caring for others is a privilege, not something to better oneself.
We come into this world as takers. Only when taught do we learn to give. We learn this through observing others. Someone taught us along the way that you only need so much and one should share the extra with others in need. We also learn by being a recipient of other’s gift. We learn about being generous and how this creates joy.
Once one becomes a giver, an inner peace and comfort enters the soul. Life is no longer about the acquisition of tangible items, but your self worth becomes measured by the sense of being part of something greater than oneself.
We all have an obligation to not only our community, but our family, church etc. to give. Giving is part of the legacy. What others have given before us is what we have today. Our future giving is what links all the generations, past and present, together.
Think about it this way. No one looks up to someone who is selfish or a miser. No one honors the greedy or selfish. Only the true giver is honored by the opportunity to feel joy. And what you give comes back to you ten-fold. It just does.
We have all been blessed by an amazing place to live. We are safe, we can raise our families here with little worry and it’s beautiful. Let’s take care of it and each other for many, many years to come.