We Only Get One Go-round … Pass it Forward

I’ve just returned home from a class I needed to take to further my decision to become a Red Cross Disaster Services Team member.  I have quite  a few classes to go.  But … I can never have too much information for things I decide to do.  I had tried to do this back around 2001, but found being a retail store manager did not give me the ability to take time from work if I was needed.  So, I had to give up the training in order to keep a roof over my head.

But now that I’m retired, I find time is mine to do with as I please.  And now that my grandson is in kindergarten and no longer needs me to hang with him on a daily basis, I am pursuing what makes me happy. (Not that being with Shane wasn’t an absolute joy and I wouldn’t have missed it  for the world.)  But, it’s my time.  And the Red Cross.

I have volunteered most of my adult life.  Most of us do things one way or another to help those around us.  I ‘m grateful for those in my little community here at the beach who keep things organized and running, so I can enjoy those events I choose to participate in.  Without their work, it would not be nearly as enjoyable being here. What would happen if they weren’t here doing what needed to be done?  I certainly could do more.  I do the monthly newsletter, but that’s about it.  And then there’s my friend, Jim, who will stop whatever he’s doing to go fix something for someone at the drop of his hat.  Or power wash their house. Or the other Jim … Jim S.  He’s there for everyone, as well.

There are those who give financially.  Without those people, all charities would shut their doors.  I’m on Social Security, so financial contributions are limited.  I’m grateful for those who can’t give their time or prefer not to and in lieu of that, give their money.  We are all needed.  In many different ways and capacities.

I’m the kind of person who likes to do things for people who will never see me again in their lifetime or mine.  I’m uncomfortable with people telling me, “Thanks.”  When a stranger says it, it’s so much easier for me to accept than if it’s someone I’m likely to see tomorrow.

I have a nephew who totally believes that good works is not what will get you into heaven … it is accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  But I have this belief that you need to pass it forward.  Good Karma, so to speak.  Strangers have been there for me, I need to be there for other strangers.

So, when I decided that the Red Cross was the next place for me to contribute my time, it wasn’t without misgivings.  Could I do this?  I’m getting old.  Do I have what it takes?  And after tonight, I have to reinforce myself with my old attitude … if he or she can do it, so can I!   One time in tears, I said to my husband, “Why do I always think I can do everything?”  His response?  “I don’t know.  Why do you?”

It’s because I know I’m as bright … as intelligent … as capable as those who are currently doing it.  If they can do it, so can I! To quote Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”  I refuse to let my insecurities get the best of me.  The Red Cross needs me and I’m stepping up to the plate!

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