virgin islands scene

If we could learn to like ourselves, even a little, maybe our cruelties and angers might melt away.
-- John Steinbeck
 

 

Friday, April 10, 1998

Giving challenge

Few things provide as much satisfaction as being needed. We usually go to great lengths in seeking comfort and pleasure, and certainly do enjoy them. Yet even the most delightful pleasure seems a bit hollow if we’re not doing something to make a difference.

And so it follows that one of the kindest things you can do for other people is to make it possible for them be needed. In your desire to help others, you naturally think of giving comfort and pleasure. Look for a way to also give challenge -- the challenge to make a difference.

Several years ago, certain residents of a nursing home were given the opportunity to make a difference when they were each permitted to select a houseplant and to make decisions related to its care. After a year and a half, the residents who were caring for houseplants were found to be more cheerful, active and alert, with less than half the death rate as a similar group of residents who were not caring for plants.

Even the most seemingly insignificant challenges can be truly life enhancing. Make a big difference by providing others with the opportunity to make a difference, too.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1998 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.