I realised something yesterday, something I hadn’t connected other dots to yet, a thought I hadn’t pondered;
Every single unhappy person I know never does anything for anyone.
They might think they do. They might believe they do. But they don’t.
Some people believe they are a good friend, simply because they do the basic 101 friends are supposed to. Some people think they’re wonderful because they’re commendable citizens who do the ‘right’ thing.
But doing something for someone else isn’t found in the automatic niceties of everyday life; it’s about really doing something, something of worth and value, something that might seem small but means so much more.
Selfish people are miserable. People that only think of themselves are sullen.
Doing things for others provides you with perspective, pride, delight and purpose.
I do a lot of things for other people – I co-run an organisation, Camp Awakenings, that holds camps for Year 9 students in Melbourne and I spend hours, days, months, planning and arranging and organising and chatting and meeting and getting in my car to deliver presentations and source funding, all so me, and my team, can make an impact on the lives of the young people we meet, all so they can walk away from three amazing days with more positivity and hope and happiness and direction than what they began with.
I’d be lying if I said I got nothing out of it.
I walk away from every camp grateful, for the life I have. I leave each camp with hope. I finish each camp with a much bigger, lighter and joyful heart than what I started with. And I leave a smarter person – because, most of the time, those kids teach me more than I think I teach them.
That’s a big thing I do. Not the only thing, but a big thing.
But not everyone needs to run a camp, or feed soup to the homeless, or mindlessly donate $30 a month to (insert charity here).
It’s often the smaller things can make a bigger impact on someone’s life.
Some of the greatest joy there is to be had in life comes from doing things where you stand to gain absolutely nothing, where you’re likely to be left exhausted, out of pocket, and unacknowledged.
And that’s why the very people that need to do that most, will be the very people least likely.