What's Your 500 Year Plan for Humanity's Mental Health?
Author Nelson Henderson said, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” What does this mean? There’s a depth of meaning that we can bring to our lives when we take action for something greater than ourselves. Henderson’s quote in particular is about doing things in this life that will benefit people far after the time we have passed.
In my mind, there’s a certain level of psychological benefit and well-being that we get from doing things that have nothing to do with us. To some degree there’s some truth in the idea that whatever we give we get back in this world.
A more general question might be, “Is there anything you’re doing to make this world a better place for the generations to come?”
Besides planting trees, which is a great thing to do and often has an immediate benefit if you’re doing it yourself, what about helping the disadvantaged children in this world?
The children are the future generations that are going to be the future parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Helping them get a more solid foundation and education can literally change the complexion of this world in the centuries to come.
The truth is altruistic acts like this need to be introduced into our mental health plans. What I mean is, if you choose some way to help future generations and you’re involved on an ongoing basis, you will absolutely benefit psychologically.
My belief is that this specific type of altruism has a great effect as it takes us out of our egos and nurtures the reality that there is something greater than ourselves, namely this planet and the years and years of people that are to live on this planet.
A while ago I edited a book with names like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Dan Siegel and so many others particularly focusing on A Mindful Dialogue (Also available on Kindle) where 100% of the proceeds go to Save the Children. Getting this EBook is just one way you can start this process, but there are so many more.
What are some ways you can think of? Get in on the conversation.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
Helping children in need - Szerenke - Jun 8th 2011
In Romania there are over 4000 children living on the streets. There is an orphanage called Devai Szent FerencAlapitvany (http://devaigyerekek.hu/?lang=english) which has been founded by a catholic priest in 2002. They accept children who have nowhere to go, who suffered from abuse, neglect, whose parents died, divorced or who cannot be supported by their families. There are over 40 homes across Romania, Transylvania and Hungary, helping more than 1500 children. Getting in contact with them, working there for a while as a volunteer could be a life changing experience. There are no volunteering fees, you just need to catch a flight ticket to get there (which can be between £30-100). They offer accomodation and food. While being there you learn to appreciate every aspect of life and to give and receive love.