11.04.2010

What Have I Done For Someone Today?



I am posting this today because I have gotten out of the habit of talking as a family during dinner time about each person's nice thing they did for someone else during the day. Zane would often smile as he told me about giving his teacher a hug. Evan always told me with a head tilt and smile that he played trains with Grandma G. even if she was not over that day. I think Evan confuses it with his favorite thing to do. So I give him clues about a specific thing he did nice that I observedl. It is usually something related to Sylvia or sharing with a friend. Sylvia will often be reminded of her kind smiles and generous hugs she offered her family.

Speaking of the topic- my mom has been a superhero at helping me and doing a bazillion nice things for my family. Playing with my kids, cleaning my house, folding my laundry changing diapers, putting laundry away, dishes and more dishes just to name a few. I think last week was the motherload, I believe every single dish was dirty and she walked in the door like a cleaning tornado and did them all! I wish my sister lived here, too, so she could be blessed by all her help. I feel selfish having her all to myself! What a great example she is to our family of doing nice things for other people.

Here is the talk from the prophet What Have I Done For Someone Today?

This part inspires me:

A few years ago I read an article written by Jack McConnell, MD. He grew up in the hills of southwest Virginia in the United States as one of seven children of a Methodist minister and a stay-at-home mother. Their circumstances were very humble. He recounted that during his childhood, every day as the family sat around the dinner table, his father would ask each one in turn, “And what did you do for someone today?”1 The children were determined to do a good turn every day so they could report to their father that they had helped someone. Dr. McConnell calls this exercise his father’s most valuable legacy, for that expectation and those words inspired him and his siblings to help others throughout their lives. As they grew and matured, their motivation for providing service changed to an inner desire to help others.

Besides Dr. McConnell’s distinguished medical career—where he directed the development of the tuberculosis tine test, participated in the early development of the polio vaccine, supervised the development of Tylenol, and was instrumental in developing the magnetic resonance imaging procedure, or MRI—he created an organization he calls Volunteers in Medicine, which gives retired medical personnel a chance to volunteer at free clinics serving the working uninsured. Dr. McConnell said his leisure time since he retired has “evaporated into 60-hour weeks of unpaid work, but [his] energy level has increased and there is a satisfaction in [his] life that wasn’t there before.” He made this statement: “In one of those paradoxes of life, I have benefited more from Volunteers in Medicine than my patients have.”2 There are now over 70 such clinics across the United States.
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