From the inbox: Q: I read your post on being grateful and, honestly, felt a little sick inside. I was raised 1) to want things and 2) to get the highest paying job I possibly could. My family places so much value on the kind of money you make and what it can get you out of life. Like Cat, who you wrote about awhile back, I really need to break away.
I feel fortunate to be well off, but I can't say I feel grateful, if that makes any sense. I want a truly rich life. One where I see the world, learn about differences and somehow make a difference. I am beyond stuck. Where do you suggest I start?
There's no better feeling than giving back.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, keeps us more firmly entrenched in our awesome NVR life than giving back. For us, it's a natural extension of being grateful. Our personal experiences, such as traveling around the globe, have opened our eyes to a world that's much vaster than our own self interest.
I mean, come on... 1 in 6 people around the globe don't have adequate nutrition. A huge percentage of people don't have the opportunity to receive an education. Additionally, we live in a world that is plagued with inequality and human rights violations. These are the things that we remain mindful of as we pursue our NVR life. Heck, these are the reasons why we pursue the life we have.
We owe it to the less fortunate to live the best life possible and to be a voice for the ghosts of society.
Using ourselves as a case study.
As we say elsewhere on this site... Life can be rough; there’s a lot of pain out there. We have to watch out for one another and work to expand the circle of opportunity by advocating for change and empowering/enabling others to live deliberately. In the interest of championing a world where everyone can live a dignified life, we are especially passionate about the eradication of poverty.
We're about to take off on a big adventure, visiting several places we're interested in (and accomplishing a mileage run in the process). Our stream of travel kicks off in Washington, DC where we're meeting up with the folks from CARE International to advocate for the poor on Capital Hill.
Activities like this get us out of our own life - out of our own heads. Fighting for the rights of the voiceless is a way that we gain perspective.
Volunteer your time.
It all starts with being grateful. When you're in that mindset, it's much easier to think about how you might best give back. We're big on being grateful and giving our time and energy to the stuff we're passionate about. For starters, consider:
- What are you good at? Often you can find opportunities to volunteer your skill set to worthwhile organizations/people.
- What are you most grateful for? Who can you share that with?
- What causes really capture your attention? Search for organizations that address those causes.
- If time, money etc. didn't matter, what kind of work would you do? The answers you come up with can often point you towards the gift(s) you are most ready to share.
The idea is to take that first step. Big or small.