Friday, June 24, 2011

Winning the Lottery

An Ohio man who needs kidney dialysis to stay alive won $5 million in the lottery--but says he plans on giving part of his windfall away.

"I'm going to help people because I love it. It makes me feel good, and I think that's what God put us here for," Phillip Withem of Logan said Tuesday, right after accepting the mega-check from the Ohio Lottery.

Wow!  Just when I thought people couldn't get any greedier, someone steps up and shatters my thinking!

It seems that this man has a belief system that puts others ahead of himself.  Again...Wow!  In an age where our leaders of all kinds are putting their wants and needs ahead of anything for anyone else, this is so very refreshing! 

Our news articles are all about the negative aspects of our society.  You can't watch the news without hearing, for thirty minutes why the world is so bad.  And then I'm flipping through the news on Yahoo and I see this article about Mr. Withem of Logan, Ohio. 

Here are five reasons to think of others first:

If you're giving to others, you're thinking about them and not yourself.  Mother Teresa said, "I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love."   When you're thinking about others, you allow yourself to find the love that is in each one of us and make it come alive for both of you.  You forget all about your problems.

When you put others first, your life is happier.  When you're working to do for others, their joys become your joys.  As you see them reaching their goals, becoming who they want to be or doing what they want to do, you're a part of that effort and you become happier because you've helped make them happier.

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When you focus on others first, it comes back to you, in ways you never imagined.  There have been many times in my life when I've done for others, simply because I chose to do it.  I expected no rewards or gratitude.  In fact, many times I did it anonymously preferring not to be recognized for my efforts.  In almost every case, I received back many times over what I gave.  Again, not because a debt was owed but because someone else was doing the same thing, putting others first.
Edward Everett Hale once said, "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do."  You may think that there is nothing you can do to make a difference in this world.  It is true that we may not be able to change the world, but by putting others first and taking action to help, we can change one little corner of the world.  That's a start.

Many times we think we must rely on the 'heroes' of our world to make it better.  This is just not the case.  Helen Keller said, "The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker."  When we put others first we are a hero to them.  We haven't moved mountains or parted the seas, but, for that person, we did what we could. 
    You see, like Mr. Withem, we all have the ability to reach out to others and make their lives a little better.  Is that going to change his health problems?  Maybe not in ways that we can see, but his soul will be happier, will be freer because he did what he could do.  And in turn, that may make his health better, his recovery quicker, and his outlook brighter.

    Have you done what you can for someone else today?
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