Many of us do things outside of this site that are useful to others. Those that I know of have very uplifting and heart-warming stories of their activities. We would like to hear your stories of what you do to make the world a better place, whether it affects one or a million. The important part is what is in your heart.
Interesting, my job basically requires that I give service, and I work with people who give service all day, every day. BUT you can tell the difference if the person giving the service cares. For instance, all the aides have to get their patients and residents out of bed for breakfast. But some of the patients come in dressed in clean clothes, hair combed, teeth in place, while others look like someone threw them in the chair without a thought about how they looked. All the patients get breakfast, but even the ones who are presentable have to look at the ones whose caregivers appear not to have given much thought to what they were doing.
HERE'S THE KICKER: It's harder to be pleasant to someone who doesn't look well groomed. So, not only have the caregivers given bad service, but they have set their patients up to not receive the extra attention from passers-by who might actually be able to brighten their day by smiling at them. You can't pay people to care. So, my donation to the situation is simply that I pick the grubbiest and least cared for looking people, and go out of my way to stop and chat. And I usually ask the aides to comb someone's hair, or fix their teeth if I can't do it myself. (My job does not allow time for a lot of caregiving contact.)
Nursing care is the noblest of activities one can indulge in. When I see a patient smile at the sight of the nurse, I know that if I am born as a human again, I would want to be a nurse. Few physicians get as much affection from a patient as a nurse, because of nurse's greater involvement with patient.
I do counseling service for the cancer patients and their families, particularly to those from economically weaker sections. I guide and advise them about the best physicians for their conditions, recommended treatment options, which places are cheaper, how to save money, how to handle end of life issues etc. A number of leading oncologists support me. About 60-70% of my counseling is about how to handle chemotherapy, because treating physicians are not able to deliver this information to the patients and their families in a way that could be consumed by them. I try to bridge this information gap as much as I can.
At one time I initiated two major projects, one to launch a Cancer Helpline where using a toll-free number a patient could get answer to any question they desired and another to initiate a process to bring down the cost of cancer treatment. These projects were noticed by the then President of India and we were invited to ask for any help. Unfortunately every member of the team I had built up had personal agenda of their own social progress and we failed to do any substantial work beyond planning. Since then, I work alone. This limits the access to my services, but does not result in failures.
Joe, I simply try to treat others as I would like to be treated and I have dedicated a large portion of my time to sharing what I have learned in nearly 40 years of personaly study and through many thousands of hours of meditation. I try to treat everyone I encounter as lovingly as I possibly can. My primary focus right now is my website which is dedicated to providing people with ideas and exercises to help them with their personal and spiritual growth. The material is "a course" in how to go about getting to know yourself and is written to be of use to everyone from someone with no experience, through laymen and right up to those with considerable experience and knowledge.
I try to live by several simple ideas.... love without conditions, no matter how right you think you are know you could be wrong and if I cannot help I will not hinder.
And I hope this post is in line with your intent for this group.
I have thought for a long time that there was three activities wherein special opportunities are available to impart some ideas and attitudes about the Art of Living. One is a school teacher, another is a coach and the third is parenthood. I know other activities offer similar opportunities to be of service but these three seem to be rich with potential.