Sometimes caring for others is draining. After pouring out love and giving up your time and energy, one can feel disheartened when people do not respond similarly. Instead of being joyful about serving, I sometimes am hurt by the lack of response.
Yet, receiving care is not the right reason to give it to others. When people return the favor and love you, that is wonderful. We cannot be with those who continuously take advantage of us or make us do all of the work in the relationship. But, instead of thinking what I will gain from a relationship, I want to focus on what I can give.
This Thai commercial for life insurance touched me deeply and illustrates this point.
The man in the commercial does not get anything material for his good deeds. In fact, one might argue that he loses time, food, money, and energy by helping make the world a better place. At the same time, he is so blessed because of what he does. The smile on the young girl’s face, the melting heart of the woman he allows to sit down, the devotion of the dog, the promise of new life with the plant – there are so many joys and wonderful moments in his life.
That is how I want my life to look. Maybe I will look back and realize that I spent a great deal of time helping others in a way that did not benefit myself. However, those moments are never wasted. They are some of the most beautiful, rich, and fulfilling. They bring hope that we can help bring light, healing, hope, and joy to others.
Whether you are a support person or someone who struggles with mental health, a child or a grandparent, a business man or a woman who freelances while working odd jobs, you can make this type of difference on the world. The time and energy that you spend might not be returned in the way that you expect, but you will certainly gain a great deal.