We’ve spent some time this month talking about strengthening the relationships we have with our families—our spouses and our children. One relationship that isn’t talked about as often is the relationship we have with our community. In many ways, this relationship needs just as much attention as the one we continue to grow and foster with our families. Why? Because it defines who we are in the world.
Alfred Adler said, “Every human being strives for significance, but people always make mistakes if they do not recognize that their significance lies in their contribution to the lives of others.” Adler realized that it was all too easy for folks to get wrapped up in their own lives, their own day-to-day, only to find themselves feeling lost or without a purpose.
I know that we all have days when we wake up and say to ourselves, “What am I doing here, really?” One way to answer that question, on a small scale, is to find something that you believe in and support it. Maybe you want to help your local community and you do that through volunteering at a food shelf or soup kitchen. Maybe you are really crafty, so you make hats and mittens for the homeless. Or maybe you are more globally centered, so you donate money for mosquito nets in Africa, or you raise money to help build schools for girls in the Middle East.
Whatever your passion is, there is a need somewhere in the world for you. And most of you will find that in filling that need, you also fill yourself (and your children) with a sense of purpose and significance. A friend of mine recently helped her five-year-old daughter raise money for a charity that the family believed in. When they were done and my friend asked her daughter how she felt about what she had done, the little girl replied, “I feel like the whole world is giving me a big thumbs-up.” I can’t imagine feeling much better than that.
All of us at Parenting On Track™ want to know what you do to make a difference in your community. Please use the comment section here at the blog to inspire us, and our readers, with some examples of the things you and your family are involved in.
Quote from “What Life Could Mean To You” by Alfred Adler, pg. 5.