Friday, October 24, 2014

One Person

“It all begins with just one person. One person who sees a need and is inspired to do something about it.”

That was a line from the Thank You card that I received from the Ronald McDonald House.

A few months ago, a group of friends, my husband Jeff and I served a meal at our local Ronald McDonald House. I have wanted to do that for some time. I have served there before as part of a group, but I’ve never organized my own group. It was a great experience. It was fun to spend time working together with my friends. It felt so good to provide a hearty meal to the families staying at the house. I had to tell the world how good it felt.

I immediately posted pictures on Facebook of our group. I also posted pictures of my chicken stocked fridge. I started to think about what I would write about in my blog. I was so eager to tell the world what I was doing. I am a good person. Look at me world, I am doing good things.

Then I received a thank you card from the families. And I stopped the Facebook posting. I stopped thinking about this blog. I stopped and thought, “This is not about me”.

I was taught at a very young age that you should always work to help others. I learned by the example of my mom. Mom was always doing something for other people; baking cookies or making a casserole for the family down the street, or working with her beloved “Treasure Islettes”, a women's service organization. Even today, at 84 years old, Mom spends 2 to 3 days a week doing volunteer work at her church and with St. Vincent De Paul. I inherited my giving heart from her. My mom never boasted about the good she was doing. It was just what she did, who she was.

I was talking to my mom a few days after we served the meal and she told me how much she used to love doing that with the Islettes. “Those families were so appreciative. It just made me feel so good knowing that I was doing something nice for them.” That’s all that mattered to my mom; that she felt good to help others. She didn’t need anyone’s approval or “Comments” or “Likes” to feel good.

Social media has taken over the world and it has certainly benefitted many a cause by raising awareness and funding. It is a great thing and I applaud those who have used it to their benefit, but I have come to discover that it is not who I am.

When I started my blog, I had dreams of taking the social media world by storm. I wanted to take my desire to help people and share it with others; encourage people to volunteer their time, get involved with charities. I had hoped to organize various events and get others to join – clothing drives, bake sales, etc. I was going to create a Facebook page and share my vision. I created a Twitter account and was tweeting away, trying to build a following. Then I realized that I stopped doing what I love to do. I stopped helping others, I was just focused on posting and tweeting and reading articles and finding ways to “go public”. I got wrapped up in the social media storm and in doing so, lost sight of what really matters to me. What matters to me is not for people to know that I am doing good things. What matters to me is not “Likes” or "Comments" or "Retweets".  What matters to me is that I have done something today and each and every day to be a blessing to someone, to make their day better, to share a smile or kind word, to lend a helping hand.

I am just one person and, as was printed in that thank you card, “it all begins with one person”. I am one person who inherited a giving heart. I am one person who doesn’t have to tell the world what I am doing. I am one person who has always let her kind words, friendly smile and loving actions speak for her. I am one person who may not have the time, the means or the knowledge to take the world by storm. But I am one person with a big heart and I will always let that heart lead me to help others. One person is all it takes and one person is all I'll be.