Wednesday Aug 15 2012
I am going to die one day so best take action now
By: Elaine Jo Giamona Special to The News Messenger
Life From Your Window column
Sometimes, looking into the eyes of a newborn child can remind us of our own mortality. And sometimes a brief but annoying stay at the hospital reminds us. Sometimes, just hearing the word “grandma” or “grandpa” does the trick. Although recently, I spent a few days in the company of a 91-year-old whose eyes were sharper than mine. Her vocabulary amazed me. And for just the blink of an eye, I told myself, “Hey, you’ve got years ahead of you.” Like I said, it was just a blink. The reality is I know I am not immortal. I am going to die one day. So what to do with this new-found realization? I was telling a friend how coming “of this age” brings with it a sense of urgency. Kinda like my grandmother’s voice saying “If you’re gonna do it, Lainee, you’d better get on with it!” My friend’s response was ,“You know, other people need to hear those words. No one knows just how long they are going to live.” And she is right. I decided to take action in my own small way. To do all that I can to make a positive difference in this world, while I am still given the gift of time to do it. The choices I make may be different than yours. But the intention is what matters. As a matter of fact, intention is all that matters. If I take a few minutes each day to look around, outside my little world into the world of others, I find so many chances to make a difference that it makes my head spin. Whether it is giving a smile to a stranger in the checkout line or by complimenting a small child on her smile or dress, these little things do make a difference in the world. OK, so you’re saying that you already practice small acts of kindness? Guess then you might be ready for the Big Leagues. And there are a few Big Leagues right here in our home town. They are begging for residents who want to make a difference. First step is to harness your passion and be ready to ride it into adventure and some fun, too. I’ve always held the belief that if it’s not fun, I don’t want to do it. I learned that from a very wise woman who traveled internationally for her work, which was also her passion. Or you can simply make a list of your interests and find others who already share them in making a difference. Here are some ideas to get you started: A gardener might contact Lincoln Community Gardens: 877-5268, Facebook/lincolngardens. Do you enjoy reading and time to yourself? Contact Friends of the Lincoln Public Library at 645-3470, friendsofthelincolncalibrary.org or Lincoln Public Library at 434-2410 Facebook/libraryatlincoln or libraryatlincoln.org. Like spending time with youngsters? Contact any local school and Sun City residents have S.C.H.O.O.L.S. The Lincoln Youth Center always appreciates visitors, young and old (434-3220). Prefer the company of seniors? Consider being a weekly driver for Meals on Wheels Seniors First (800-878-9222 or facebook/sfplacer). Or visit the Senior Café in downtown Lincoln as a volunteer. (Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?) If you visit Facebook, there are local groups with pages such as Good Neighbors of Lincoln, Volunteers of Lincoln, Lincoln Nonprofit Coalition, Rotary Club, Soroptimist International of Lincoln and Lincoln Community Gardens. Ask your neighbor or a group you belong to this question: “Do you volunteer at something you enjoy?” You’ll be surprised at the bounty of opportunities out there. Need more info or have some to share? I’d love to hear from you. Of course, if you indeed are one of the immortals among us, then just throw this article out with some old fish. You’ve got all the time in the world to make a difference in someone’s life. Smiles. Elaine. Elaine Jo Giamona is a Soroptimist International of Lincoln charter member and McCoy Real Estate and Property Management owner/broker. Her website is mccoyreo.com. She is creator and administrator of the Facebook group, Lincoln Nonprofit Coalition. She welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.