Where To Begin

I’d like to begin with thoughts about giving back. I struggle with this. I often feel I am not focused or energized, and border on complacent. Then I am reminded by family and friends that, through my daily actions, I do contribute and give of myself.

I have worked with children and young adults as a tutor and an advocate for those in foster care. I have enjoyed the “aha” moments when I realized I was making a difference. I have also volunteered behind the scenes at a food bank, learning about hunger and poverty in my community. This experience made me grateful for what I have and thankful I could help those in need. For a few years I have been enjoying helping first-year parents on a college campus. As a parent ambassador, I have the opportunity to share my mom experiences and offer a shoulder to cry on – literally. I look back on these emotional “give back” moments as rewarding, memorable, and above all, a chance to give to myself as well as others.

I have enjoyed the “aha” moments when I realized I was making a difference.

On a basic level “whatever you are, be a good one” should get us started each day. More advanced thinking helps us to research and identify a niche in which we fit, and one that makes us feel we have something to give.

Encore.org provides resources for finding purpose, sharing talents and supporting a cause. Click on the “ideas” bar and scroll to “research.” You can read about the current studies regarding the contributions to others by the 50 plus population. Whatever your ambition may be, there is more than likely an outlet to enable you to begin to “give back.”