How many of these phrases have you uttered this week? Where has the time gone? Seems like it was just yesterday that I was logged into my blog and writing away......and then, well, life happened. I had 2 eye surgeries, I had my busy season at the office, I had more medical tests, we traveled to the annual Rolling Thunder Demonstration Run, I had more tests, the lawn needed mowing (it's a big lawn!), we held a fair and a parade, and then helped at two different organization booths at another large area fair, then, there were more things at the office and a 24-hour POW/MIA Vigil and Freedom Ride, and seeing a couple specialists, followed by preparations for an annual fund-raising event for our parade mixed in with a myriad of Color Guard details for hubby and his fellow aging veterans (hubby's been down for several days now, worn out), followed by more tests for me, and here we are at Thanksgiving weekend and Black Friday.
Where does the time go?
That doesn't sound like a lot, until you add it in with everyday life, work, and an occasional ride on the bike.... But, tis no more than any other family, is it? Or is it? For a number of years now, several family members and a couple close friends have been encouraging me to slow down, scale back, just say 'no.'
How do you say 'no' when others do not volunteer and you aren't the type of person's conscience who can just let good community activities fall by the wayside? I've been involved with that fund-raising event I mentioned earlier for 28 years in one capacity or another. Surely, surely, there are some younger parties who are interested? Perhaps if I would just walk away from things, someone else would pick up the ball and run with it. We have gained a few much-needed volunteers in the last couple years, but we need more!
Do I really think if I walk away that the event would fail without me? Not for a minute! I AM DISPENSABLE!! If I drop dead tonight, the world Will carry on, the earth will continue to revolve and people will still go about their holiday planning.
It is good to feel needed, but we can also learn to survive on the egotistic adrenaline rush that comes with being very involved in the community. More than once I have caught myself echoing the words of others in 'semi-leadership' positions that "I can't just let the ball drop." That, I'm pretty sure is a mistake.
Don't get me wrong. I love helping. I love serving. I love hearing that a project appeared as outstanding to those who attended or observed. I love doing my share (even when I've heard I don't do enough for some organizations!) Yes, the word has gotten back that some are of the opinion I don't do enough for a certain organization to be qualified to fulfill a different role in that group.
Can you imagine? We all have different skill sets and are wise to apply them where they can best be used. Wouldn't we all be hungry if the world had no farmers? What about builders? Wouldn't we get cold in the winter and rain? How about first-responders? Can you imagine if there were no one to render aid in times of crisis? You get the idea. We all have different skills to apply in different venues.
If we turn away someone with a given talent, we short ourselves and our communities. If someone has no interest or commitment to a cause, why push them? They are likely to drop the ball at a crucial moment. On the other hand, if we nourish even the smallest interest in helping one another, we might be greatly surprised at the blossoming of workers, bettering our world.
Throwing demonstrations and being offended isn't going to fix things. Sad to say, it's rather like hearing a car alarm go off in a retail parking lot. Do we really look to see if someone broke into the car, or do we giggle, thinking to ourselves, "poor fool, just set off his/her alarm....so embarrassing when I've done that!" The boy who cried, "Wolf!" We have accustomed ourselves to crisis, demonstrations, being offended, thinking that 'someone else will handle it.'
Where does the time go? How have we allowed our society to become so complacent as to cause a pandemic in the lack of volunteerism? I'll spare you the details of history and timelines, but if you take a brief look at the last few decades (avoiding political party influences), we as a whole have become a culture of participation awards. Good job just for showing up, for attending. Great job for excelling, but we'll reward those who didn't excel. Don't want to work? Someone else will and you can go sign up for handouts, because we should all share. Share what?
Share my credit for working hard? Share my accolades when I am the top of the class? Share my money that I use to pay for my heat and home? Share my food? Share my children? Share my life? How much is one person supposed to share?
As Christians, some of us are taught to look after our fellow men/women. But, we are not taught to serve the lazy. There is a difference between lazy and actually being in need. People fall on hard times, absolutely. People develop physical issues prohibiting work, no doubt. But what about those who just don't want to work and Expect the rest of us to share and share alike?
Our founding fathers stated our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Originally, the wording was for life, liberty, and the pursuit of wealth, but that was toned down. At no time did they guarantee every solitary sole happiness or wealth, but rather the pursuit of such.
My late mum, was among the wisest (yes, I'm biased, but she had enough life experience to stand behind her words). She used to say, "You'll be as happy as you make up your mind to be." One of her aunts , a great-auntie of mine who lived into her late nineties, often said, "You can used to hanging, if you hang long enough." Same concept, all in how you view it.
Why have we allowed our society to be come so very dissatisfied with making our selves happy, of making our own living, of offering help when it is actually needed?
Why do we let time pass in-between seeing our very own beloved family and friends? Why do lack the ability to savor time and others? Why do we find ourselves constantly apologizing for not seeing, not talking, not visiting, not doing, not helping?
Why are we just not seeing, talking, visiting, doing, helping?
How about that pat on the back for a job well done and wishing someone better luck next time they try when he/she doesn't do well.
We can lift up one another in constructive ways. We can teach, we can share work, we can give gifts of love in secret to help those in need without awaiting that pat on the back. But, do we? Will we?
It's been a long time, what will our future see?