WEBSTER MAY define selflessness as having no concern for self, but givers in our community give the world and our lives deeper meaning. They take to heart the well-being and care of others and place those needs ahead of their very own. From public servants to quiet, behind-the-scenes workers, Shelbyville and Bedford County know firsthand the quality they add to our lives.
On any given day, we meet them out and about. We interact with some. Others we never see, but without them our days would be dim.
They touch hearts and change lives; see needs and meet them; sense grief and offer comfort.
They are generous, compassionate, thoughtful, and devoted with helpful hands and hearts.
The opposite of selfishness, selflessness unites us, inspires other acts of kindness, and improves the quality of life in all it touches. And the lives of the selfless are enriched as well. Ask them, they’ll tell you.
These givers are happier, have stronger relationships, live more meaningful and healthier lives.
Better than a single financial investment, one selfless act of kindness can spark more. Lives are shaped – even saved – by a single encounter with these generous individuals.
And sometimes, their contributions deal less with physical needs and deeply-felt emotions and more with making someone’s day leaving both the giver and the receiver happier and blessed.
Studies have shown that their brain’s amygdala is larger. They read the facial expressions and emotions of others better. They sense and deeply feel others pain, fears, and hardships.
While their giving is automatic, we can learn from them and make conscious efforts to be more selfless in our dealings with others. Perhaps it can teach us to be more kind to ourselves as well.
Let’s look for opportunities to offer kindness more often. Let’s seek out those that have touched our lives with their generosity and compassion and return the gift. Let’s get up a little earlier in the morning or stay up a little later in the evening to interact with someone we’ve overlooked in the busyness of our lives. Let’s show up and offer a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear.
Let’s make selflessness the cornerstone of our community. After all, this is the Volunteer State. -GN