Saturday, November 28, 2009

"And what did you do for someone today?"

I think now that I am putting up my Christmas decorations that my heart can't help but turn to Jesus Christ and all that He has done for me. How grateful I am for my knowledge and testimony of Him. It makes Christmas extra special.

Jeff and I went out on a Date night tonight and we went to the movies. Now there are few and movies that I really feel are decent enough to even go to, but this one was great. The moral of the story was just one person who took time out of her busy and full life, to touch the life of someone else. Someone who came from a whole different world than hers and yet she saw past the color of his skin, the clothes on his back, the circumstance which he came from and saw the person. This person felt like he helped her change her life more than she did him. I love those movies that make you feel like being a better person when you leave.

I read an article by Thomas S. Monson. He talked about a man who was taught this very principle every day, by words and example. His name was Jack McConnell, MD. He grew up in the hills of southwest Virginia in the United States as one of seven children of a Methodist minister and a stay-home-mother. Their circumstances were very humble. He recounted that during his childhood, every day as the family sat around the dinner table, his father would ask each one in turn,  " And what did you do for someone today?" The children were determined to do a good turn every day so they could report to their father that they had helped someone. Dr. McConnell calls this exercise his father's most valuable legacy, for that expectation and those words inspired him and his siblings to help others throughout their lives. As they grew and matured, their motivation for providing service changed to an inner desire to help others.

Besides Dr. McConnell's distinguished medical career---where he directed the development of the tuberculosis tine test, participated in the early development of the polio vaccine, supervised the development of Tylenol, and was instrumental in developing the magnetic resonance imaging procedure, or MRI--he created an organization he calls Volunteers in Medicine, which gives retired medical personnel a chance to volunteer at free clinics serving the working uninsured. Dr. McConnell said his leisure time since he retired has "evaporated into 60-hour weeks of unpaid work, but (his) energy level has increased and there is a satisfaction in (his) life that wasn't there before." He made this statement: "In one of those paradoxes of life, I have benefited more from the Volunteers in Medicine than my patients have." There are now over 70 some clinics across the United States.

The Savior taught his disciples, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." I know in my life personally, I am the happiest when I am losing myself in service to others. It helps me keep my problems in perspective and it also makes me feel a warmth and happiness that I just can't find any other way. So tonight I would like to challenge all of you to make this question of "What did I do for someone today?" a daily part of your life, I know that I am going to try and make it more of a habit in our home. Yes, it is the Christmas season, not a better time to start a Christ like tradition in our homes. Good night dear friends!

"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness."  ~Seneca

"The best portion of a good man's life - his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love."  ~William Wordsworth

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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