One of my favourite quotes is by spoken word poet, Sarah Kay: “This life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.”
It speaks of the delicate yin yang of life, which finds its balance in contradiction. How can you see the stars without the darkness, understand love without heartbreak? How can you understand sweetness if you’ve never tasted the tartness of a lime? Life is beautiful and wounding. It is empowering and crushing.
In my (upcoming) book, ‘Living on Purpose: The Key to Change Your Life and Impact Others’, I interview various people from across all sectors and from all walks of life on their journeys to significance.
One of the phenomenal women is Liepollo Pheko, president of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa. She shares her beautifully holistic view of being able to acknowledge the bad as well as the good and their roles in maintaining the equilibrium of life. “We need to realise that hard times are part of the journey and none of us are exempt. Horrible things happen to good people, as they must. This is life, life is hard, life is beautiful, life is bruising – it’s all encompassing. It’s not all Polly-Anna on the road to Kansas.”
I think that we can all agree that as much as we try our best, life is not always fair. Bad things happen to good people. The sooner we can accept this fact, the sooner we can live liberated and free.
I tattooed the ‘Serenity Prayer’ on my side as a constant reminder.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
I could have supported my mom through her journey with colon cancer in so many other ways than I did. I was 23 and terrified, so I didn’t want to accept her illness. I distanced myself from it, I didn’t acknowledge it, which I now know I should have. My plea to you is to accept the good with the bad. It’s guaranteed to happen and you can either make the most of your life or hold onto the anger and guilt.
‘Living on Purpose’ is about connecting with your reason for being – the purpose for which your soul was placed on this earth. We’re here for so much more than to merely exist. We’re here to live fully, to uplift others, to inspire those around us. Wherever you are in your life, you have the ability to inspire others through your words, actions and choices.
You are able to do way more than you give yourself credit for. Do just one thing to change another being’s life – be it human, animal or our planet.
Here’s an excerpt from my book. It’s a summary of just one thing you can have fun with – sorted by level of participation and time required. Pick and choose to your preference and may I even suggest that, as a company, family or group of friends, you pick just one thing and join the tribe.
NO EFFORT – YOU’RE DOING IT ANYWAY
Birthdays and celebrations. Ask for a tin of food in lieu of cards that will be thrown away anyway. You’ll be contributing to saving trees with the same action. Charities will be immensely grateful.
Shopping. Get into the habit of adding a tin of food to your basket. The R8-R15 spent on helping will do charity – human or you more good than the chocolate at the checkout aisle. At the end of the month, drop it off at an animal shelter.
During your free time, bond with your family by spending time together at an orphanage, old age home or shelter.
Click to feed – 5 clicks contribute to 50% of a bowl of food: http://barkingmad.co.za/click-to-feed.
Will & testament – leave a percentage of your assets to a charity.
Encourage family and friends to be a part of #JustOneThing
You may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.”– Mahatma Ghandi
Be inspired by the stories of others. Each day is precious. Live each day with impact. Each one can change just one life – imagine the colossal impact that will ripple in throughout the world! Here’s to living a life of significance.
Written By Petra Laranjo Hourquebie.