Almost everyone has a “cause” or sometimes, more than one, that they support. Many people support causes by merely talking about them, while others volunteer their time and provide financial assistance to their favorite cause. For example, the Humane Society in many people’s hometown depends on monetary contributions, donations, and volunteer staff members to fulfill its goal of taking care of needy animals. Learn to Read programs rely on volunteer teachers to instruct students, many of whom are not native English speakers, in reading skills. Legal Aid programs utilize the assistance of attorneys who volunteer their time to assist indigent clients with legal problems. I could list many more worthy causes, but the point of this post is to suggest the societal requirement for “those who can to help those who cannot.” There are lots of people, animals, and other world issues that cannot function without outside assistance. Sometimes, the help we can provide to others is in the form of simple, one on one, assistance, such as buying a meal for a veteran, police officer, or homeless person if the occasion arises. Other times, we can help by donating our valuable time instead of money, for example, serving meals in a homeless shelter every Saturday or helping out in our church’s or temple’s thrift store. Helping other people, standing up for things we believe in, and making a difference in the world does not always require financial contributions. In fact, being there for someone who needs our help, such as an elderly neighbor who needs a tree trimmed or a ride to a doctor’s appointment, can be more valuable than giving money to someone. Look for ways to help people, find out how you can benefit others, including the environment, and in general, make a difference in the world around you.
I’m not sure what prompted Melissa to write her post. Goodness knows, she has supported many “causes” whether friends, families, or strangers. We both have in various ways, including working on cases pro bono when the cause was just. What struck me though, in reading her post is how often the act of helping others plays out even in the animal world. Thanks to the magic of the internet, whether FaceBook, Instagram, YouTube, or other, we’ve probably all seen animals helping people, or people helping animals and further, that there is a connection between the species in these situations. In the human world, the things that get the most attention are large financial contributions. Just this week I read about a $25 million donation to a local hospital. Then there is MacKenzie Scott who is doing wonderful things contributing to select causes. For the rest of us, “being there” for friends/family is one of the simplest ways to help. Yet, though that may be simple, sometimes helping others takes a toll, be it financial, or emotional. In the end though, such actions and societal expectations make a difference and generally, are rewarding to the giver, and may be lifesavers, or life extenders, literally, to the receivers.