Are you shocked about what other people do and wonder if you can do it … I remember reading about our 41st President, George H.W. Bush, sky diving for his 85th birthday and wondering if I will have the energy and guts to do something like that when I am his age. Heck, I wonder if I will last until I’m 80. He just turned 88 this past month and you have to admire his spirit. He stated this year that he believes he has been blessed because he has had the ability to serve others his entire life. In a recent interview with ABC news, President Bush stated, “You must believe in serving others. I think that’s a fundamental tenet of my life.” So this month I write about “Going for it with service!
Get off the couch and help others close to you … Routine is nice and comfortable but it also makes us lazy unless that routine has us getting out and helping others. My wife and I recently moved to Florida, not because we are ready to retire or needed to get away from the cold, but because we wanted to help our parents. My in-laws and my mother live within an hour of us now and we have found it quite invigorating to see more of them and help them to live a bit more comfortably because we are here for them. They are also great examples. My Mom is 81 and is generally the life of the party. She is the driver for most of the excursions to resorts, casinos, Tampa Rays baseball games and whatever show is in town. Frankly, I admire her ability to get out and keep going. She helps others get to all these activities, and in her way I know, is performing a service since she gets them out and about when they otherwise would not go.
Also, my father-in-law has been battling cancer for the past few years and he is something to watch and be around. He is a Veteran like me, served during the 1950s, flying missions on RC-121s out of Otis AFB, MA, as an Air Force enlisted man listening for “enemy” submarines off the east coast of the U.S. He is a strong and determined man, and even with chemo treatments every couple of weeks, he doesn’t sit around --he wants to cut the lawn, trim the bushes, go out to dinner, see a movie, and take a vacation to the mountains. How does he keep going? The answer, I believe, is because he has served others his entire life--in the church, in the Knights of Columbus, in the Rotary club and much more … a life of service keeps him active and living a full life. We have enjoyed serving our parents for the past few years and we encourage you to do the same for those that our close to you.
A final thought – go one step further and help a Veteran. Finally, did you know that 7% of the U.S. population is made up of veterans? Almost 23 million Americans. More than 2 million Veterans have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 911 and many of our young vets suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other life changing injuries. There is also nearly a 25% unemployment rate among some of our youngest Veterans. I can guarantee you this … there is a VA office or health clinic near your community and they need volunteers to help with our Veterans … If you can help visit www.volunteer.va.gov
Finally … thanks for your service Veterans … now go out and go sky diving on your next birthday and then serve!
My best, and “Check Six” …