Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week 74: Contribution - Everyone wants to Make a Difference

Each comes to a point of choice in life – a time when each was forced to decide whether he or she was to act upon life by stepping forward and making a contribution, or simply sit back and be acted upon.”
(Stephen R. Covey, Everyday Greatness)

Wants to make a Difference
There are times when you sit down quietly after reflecting certain articles or after reading inspired books or perhaps after you when back from a conference or maybe after you went through certain situations; you stand up, fire up and decided to do something about what you had heard, read, and experienced – you wants to make a difference – a contribution. After I heard about the seriousness of logging activities in our country from my colleague, I decided to practice recycling items and ‘go green’. After I finished reading the Book of James, my heart race for actions and since then with God’s Grace I want to make my faith invincible to others. After I experienced hardship during my college time, I resolve by all means to assist and help students in need.
How about you? What you had heard, read and experienced that ignite your passion for contribution? Have you come to a point when you strive to clarify what you will stand for and what purposes you will choose to pursue? What contributions will you make?

Make Life Worth Living
Everyone wants to make a difference. Everyone wants to contribute. Call it a cause or call it a mission, we want to be part of something meaningful. For the serious one who search for meaning in their life earnestly formed the thoughts and actions around a purpose that makes their life of most worth. You, I’m suppose besides your human limitations and incapability make the most of what you can do best to contribute to the society – if not even to few people around you. Nothing is more meaningful in life than to fight for a cause larger than yourself. Life is worth live, in my opinion, when we choose to slowly shifted our eyes on self (me-me, I-I) onto others. It means, you have to leave your comfort zone and to give up something in order make your life worth living. One of ways (not THE way) is through contribution. Hey, be a contributor rather than a spectator.

What One Person can Do?
We may feel we have nothing to contribute. No money to give, no talents to share, no skills to help, no patience to care, no… bla… bla… bla… are but our excuses. Some are true but it doesn’t have to be final. Hendry Wadsworth Longfellow affirmed, “No man is so poor as to have nothing worth giving: as well might the mountain streamlets say they have nothing to give the sea because they are not rivers. Give what you have. To someone it may be better you dare to think.” Your contribution might be as small as collecting rubbish in your neighborhood’s area etc. but even so, it is worth much more than being in the ‘spectator’ seat. One individual that START SMALL in her contribution to others, especially to the poor that inspired me is Mother Teresa. She once said, “We ourselves feel that what we (referring to Missionaries of Charity) are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” If one individual can make such an impact and slowly draws thousands of people to follow her footsteps since the past decades, what can be more joyful if each one of us contributes to our family, church and society even in the small way?

Use your Uniqueness
What unique about you that you can contribute? You’re good at making music? Crafting arts? Organizing? Writing? Cooking? Speaking? Hey, use your uniqueness to contribute to others. Find one – harness your skills and talents. Sharpen it often and go ‘chopping the trees’. Jacob M. Braude in Braude’s Source Book for Speakers and Writers writes, “Whoever you are, there is some younger person who thinks you are perfect. There is some work that will never be done if you don’t do it. There is someone who would miss you if you were gone. There is a place that you alone can fill.”
What unique about you that you can contribute?

Making your Personal Missions
Contribution is an on-going event, not a one-time event. Thus, you might be so fire up like a hot Starbuck coffee one moment and the next day cold as Nescafe ice blended because you didn’t hold on to something that keeps you going. What I mean is; you have to resolve, to decide, to make it a commitment – for contribution – 'personal constitution' that sustain your desire for contribution to others and society. For closing, I would like to quote St. Francis of Asisi’s prayer in length below as an example of ‘personal constitution’ that may drive your desire to contribute. In the end, contribution is just an act of nothingness if God wasn’t the Master behind our actions and deeds and our divine motivations (I would like to write a separate article on this) Come, let us pray;

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

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