After unpacking loads of boxes during my recent remodel and move, it became very apparent that we just have too much “stuff”. What do I need all this stuff for? Why does my son need all these toys?? Why do I need closets and boxes full of clothes? What kind of habits am I setting him up for as he gets older? After a family discussion, it was decided that for my son’s birthday this year, we would set up a donation page for one of our favorite charities Reach Out Worldwide (www.roww.org). My son surprisingly agreed to do this and as a result, his friends (or at least the moms) thought it was a great idea. He got over $100 in donations for this great charity. He was excited to watch the total grow and I heard him telling his friends how he chose to do this and what the charity does. I was overcome with that proud Momma moment. I was glad to see that he hadn't tipped too far in the other direction! Not once did he focus on not getting new toys or gifts but instead was very intent on watching the video on their website to learn more about this organization and where his raised donations would be put to use!
After seeing my son's selfless act, I decided that it was time for me to do the same and give to others. To be honest, I have had it pretty darn good thus far in life. I have never wanted for much. I have only ever wanted for the things that I thought I needed, to satisfy some ideal that I thought was important. The American Dream - the house, the car, the 1.5 kids. Funny what society throws at us and tells us that we need to uphold.
This year has been one of the very first where I have gotten myself into a new way of thinking. Instead of worrying so much about what others think, I have, for the first time in my life, only worried about what I think. It's been hard and it is still a work in progress, but I am gaining some ground. It's been surprising how good it feels to give to others. I heard a quote once that really spoke to this:
"When you put good will out there, it's amazing what can be accomplished." - Paul Walker, Reach Out Worldwide Founder
Paul was a great example of someone who could have given into the charms of Hollywood fame and it's perks, but he instead chose to turn that around and help out those in need. After his untimely death, other family members stepped in to make sure that his legacy was upheld. Again, another example of putting others first.
My lesson in all of this is that the time for me has come to turn my life from one of just being and doing to one of self-care and looking out for my fellow human beings. I keep going back to the notion that we are role models for our children. Simple as that!
As Always, P.A. Walker
In honor of Paul and his charity, please consider donating to Reach Out Worldwide. For more information on what this charity is all about, head over to www.roww.org.