“When we help others, the focus of our mind assumes a broader horizon within which we are able to see our own petty problems in a more realistic proportion. What previously appeared to be daunting and unbearable, which is what often makes our problems so overwhelming, tends to lose its intensity.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“The quality of your life will come down to the quality of your contribution.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
“Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It must ensue. And it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.” ~ Victor Frankl
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.
”I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.
He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.
“We make a difference to other people when we give gifts to them, when we bring emotional labor to the table and do work that matters. It’s hard for me to imagine that this way of living and working is available to only a few. Yes, the cards are unfairly stacked against too many people. Yes, there are too many barriers and not enough support. But no, your ability to create and contribute isn’t determined at birth. It’s a choice.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?
“It takes courage, of course, to step out of the fray, as it takes courage to do anything that’s necessary, whether tending to a loved one on her deathbed or turning away from that sugarcoated doughnut. And with billions of our global neighbors in crying need, with so much in every life that has to be done, it can sound selfish to take a break or go off to a quiet place. But as soon as you do sit still, you find that it actually brings you closer to others, in both understanding and sympathy. As the meditative video artist Bill Viola notes, it’s the man who steps away from the world whose sleeve is wet with tears for it.” ~ Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness