I have never called it duty, but I love this quote by Bukowski, my favorite contemporary poet. My entire adult life has been consumed with a burning desire to create a world without hunger. That focus has led me to over 100 countries and more areas of conflict and devastation than I can count, and it has introduced me to an entire world of caring and compassionate people who live to make a difference in the lives of those most in need.
Now, as the flames are starting to burn a little less intensely I am gratified to see that the world has finally realized that ending hunger in our lifetime is a significant priority. I am gratified to see that the United Nations has set a measurable goal of ending hunger by 2030.
Whether I see a hunger-free world or not, the ashes of my life will forever hold the warmth of all those who have given themselves to this grand, glorious and world-changing vision. Thank you, one and all, for caring enough to help end hunger in our lifetime.
The words of Picasso ring true for me. I believe every single one of us are born as unique and gifted individuals. Each of us have a special gift that we can and should share to make the world a better place.
True joy is when we are finally able to recognize that gift and begin sharing it. It is in the giving of our gift that we begin growing into our full humanity.
How easy it is to forget that business, work, recreation and all our social interaction isn’t the real purpose of our lives. We get caught up in the details and forget that to truly live we need to give ourselves for others.
The Dalai Lama is right. All of us have a thousand opportunities every day to make a real difference in the lives of those most in need, Each of us has the time to make another’s life a little bit better and maybe even a lot better.
We can end hunger in our lifetime. We can change the world forever. It just takes the recognition that we are called to help others, and that despite our superficial differences, we are truly one family.
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.