This is the one true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. – George Bernard Shaw
This has to be one of my all-time favorite Shaw quotes. Every time I read it I get that tingling recognition that he nailed it.
Here is a man who understands. Here is someone that has found the secret.
The true joy for which we all seek will never be found wrapped up in our own selfish hunt for pleasure.True joy comes from being totally used up for the good of the community.
I couldn’t agree more strongly with Shaw. We have the privilege of giving ourselves totally for those most in need. Every one of us can be a “splendid torch” for those around us and those that follow us. Life is a gift to be given away so that there is nothing left when our time here is finally done.
Feel what it’s like to truly starve, and I guarantee that you’ll forever think twice before wasting food. – Criss Jami in Killosophy
I do not know what it feels like to starve. But I have been far too close to far too many who do know.
Some sights can never be forgotten. Some images can never be erased. The unspeakable anguish in a mother’e eyes as she watches life slip away from her starving child sears itself into memory for a lifetime.
That’s why wasting food is totally repugnant to me. No, I have never felt what it is like to starve. But I never see food wasted without it tearing at me.
Every mouthful of food is a gift. Wasting food is the height of arrogance. I despise it. It is a ugly demonstration of privilege and lack of community.
I pray for forgiveness every time I have to throw out something from my refrigerator. It doesn’t feed the hungry. I know that. But it does help me be more mindful. It reminds me that I need to live more responsibly and that millions of my family would love to have the food I am wasting.