“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
As a social worker I am never more myself than when I can place my focus on the needs of others; for when I am in the service of others I am ultimately in the service of self. It wasn’t an overnight revelation, nor one tragic event that lead me to this place, though I remember the first time I picked up the book “The Courage To Give”. The book highlights how thirty people transformed their lives, in the midst of their own tragedies, by reaching out to help others. The author, an ordinary woman, leading what many would call a charmed life, until her life was turned upside down by a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Ultimately, her life was transformed when she remembered that a pair of weak legs couldn’t hinder her from using all the love she had in her heart to serve others. It was in this one belief that she began her journey towards true healing.
Today, I had the privilege of hosting a group of amazing people in my home. Together we assembled over 50 love packages for those who do not have a stable living situation. In January, Portland Oregon is rather rainy and cold. We wanted to use our time to create even a small impact for those living out of doors. Our small way involved gathering what many of us take for granted; a tooth brush, tooth paste, body wash, shampoo, a dry pair of socks, home made stocking caps and gloves. We included many things someone might need if they don’t have a regular place to shower or care for themselves. Living on the streets is not glamorous.
It is scary, dangerous and more than anything lonely. No one chooses this way of life lightly. And ultimately, sometimes, it isn’t a choice. Irregardless of your beliefs about how and why someone is homeless I hope we can all agree that everyone deserves a little dignity and compassion. We hope our small love packages will go a long way to show someone that they are loved and that there are people in the world who care what happens to them. For today, in my living room, a small group of people made it clear that a whole lot of love can fit into the smallest of packages.
How do you use your life to help and serve others? And if you live in Portland Oregon and want to join us, drop me a line!