What It Means For Me to Give

Although I’m not Catholic, or technically part of any religion, I still value time to reflect on various things that I’m grateful for everyday.  I believe gratitude is necessary for every person to live a truly happy life, and so I incorporate many different activities into my life that remind me every day what it means to give and the importance of it.

While I’m not particularly religious, I would say that I am definitely spiritual. So I meditate for fifteen minutes every morning not only to center myself, but also to thank God for my incredibly blessed life.  I acknowledge and give thanks for things, from my amazing family and friends to things such as having running water and screens on my windows.  Starting my day off by being in a state of gratitude helps me to remember the importance of helping others to have a better quality of life.

Personally, I think I have a magnified sense of just how blessed my life is because I am adopted.  Being adopted has given me a definite perspective of how drastically different my life could have been if I hadn’t been adopted, or had simply been adopted into another family that isn’t as well off as my family is.  Talking to my birth mother, who lives in a trailer in Minot, North Dakota, doesn’t have a job, and barely graduated high school, just puts me in awe of where I am in life in comparison.  Here I am, living in Los Angeles, from a well-off family, a graduate of high school, and almost done with undergraduate school with plans to pursue a Ph.D. and a nice job.  This awareness of various ways in which people live their lives and the realities they face has compelled me with a strong desire to help people in any way I can.

Throughout high school and to this day, I still do many volunteer activities.  I even received a letter from President Obama thanking me for all of my community service and encouragibng me to keep going!  I think it’s very important to help others who are less fortunate or are simply in need of help because I know I wouldn’t be where I am in life today without the people who’ve helped me out along the way.  So it’s necessary to pay it forward, in a sense, because if people don’t, they wouldn’t thrive as much, or even at all in some cases.  What kind of a world would we create if we didn’t help each other out now and then?  Certainly not the kind of world that I would want to live in!  We have one life, one planet, and I think everyone has a duty to leave this world a little better than they found it.

So as I reflect on what I think it means to give, I think it means that you care not only about others, but also this world.  It means that you acknowledge and are thankful for what you have and have a desire to help others in need.  It means that you care about the bigger picture in life, and aren’t content with just sitting by and doing nothing.  We are so lucky to be alive, living on this beautiful and wondrous planet, and I think we need to make the most of it, because if we don’t, what would we get out of life?

If you are interested in geting involved with Relay for Life at Santa Clara University, please follow this link.