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“The Harder I Work, The More I Live”

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by Joseph Benanti

“The Harder I Work, The More I Live”

Soon after my article, “The Least We Can Do” came out, we received a wonderful response, a portion of which is as follows:

“I liked your article. As someone who volunteered for Hospice for over four years I know the importance of giving back. I feel that one thing we are missing in society today is teaching and learning that each of us need to learn to take our responsibilities to each other seriously. I’m including in this group not only those who are doing well physically, mentally, financially and spiritually but also those who are not. They have responsibility to society also.  by tloosmore jr.

Talk about speaking from experience; anyone who works or volunteers for a Hospice program knows first-hand the depth of caring that is necessitated when facing the reality of death.  I have interacted with Hospice workers and volunteers both on a professional basis and a personal basis, and find them some of the most caring individuals I have ever met in the health care profession. 

Two weeks after my dad had died from complications of a stroke, my mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.  My wife, being one of the most loving people I have ever had the privilege of meeting, insisted that she move in with us.  The next 6 months were probably the toughest, most gut wrenching, and most rewarding of my family’s lives.  Allowing my mom to go through the dying process at home was so positive on so many levels it would take too many pages to mention.  The intervention provided by the hospice workers was invaluable, not only from a professional basis, but also emotionally and spiritually.  They seemed to be available whenever we needed them.  To the above author and all who work/volunteer in this area, our deepest indebtedness, and thanks. 

I also find it perceptive in the author’s response that he mentions that those who are going through physical, emotional, and/or spiritual suffering can still give in the midst of their challenges.  That can be difficult when we feel that it takes so much energy just dealing with day to day issues, but take strength in the words of George Bernard Shaw:

"This is the true joy in life being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. . . ."

"I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. "

"Life is no brief candle to me. It's a sort of splendid torch which I've got to hold up for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."

--George Bernard Shaw                      

Tags: boomers life changes relationships caregivers self-improvement

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