Making a Life, the Winston Churchill Way

This is turning out to be one of those weeks. I’m just putting it out there.

We all have our junk to deal with. Mine happens to ebb and flow and this week, it seems to be flowing like Niagara Falls. Caught up in the current are a few onerous family responsibilities.

But I’m clutching close a Winston Churchill quotation that a 50 Good Deeds reader posted in the Comments section last week. Christine reminded us: “We make a living with what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” She noted, “Those are words well worth following.”

I considered this, along with the resale value of giving, and wrote back about what I give to my family. “When I feel cranky because my family’s needs are squeezing me dry,” I said, “I invariably feel better if I remind myself they are living a better life and making a fuller contribution to our communities because of my help. In essence, that is ‘making a life’ – not just mine.” And it’s true, and it actually paraphrases something I’ve said to my husband more than once before. It’s hugely satisfying to know I’m adding something of value to this world without even leaving home.

(What’s also making me feel better this week: Jumbo coffees, and blasting the bejeebers out of pretty gems in online Bejewelled – it’s very Zen, once you get into it. But the family-giving thing, yeah, that’s bigger.)

Of course, the Churchill saying can be applied very widely, because there are so many forms of giving, and so many types of givees. It so happens that it makes me think of my family, but another person may recall the coins they give daily to the down-and-out guy on the corner. Yet another may be prompted to consider the hours of volunteer time they contribute at their community centre.

These are all ways of making a life. And, like I said, not just yours.

Now for this unsponsored message: If you enjoy my 50GoodDeeds.com blog, you may wish to support it with a nomination for the Best Health Blog Awards (category: Embrace Life). If you have another fave blog you’d rather nominate, it’s still worth checking out. You can with a prize just for submitting your nomination!

9 responses to “Making a Life, the Winston Churchill Way

  1. Tried the link in your blog to nominate you – but it could not be found. It did take me to the Best Health website … but not the page in your link. Sorry

  2. Thanks for telling me, Debbie! (And thanks for wanting to nominate me – yeah!) I have corrected the link, so it should work now.

  3. I agree with you that Twenty-Eleven is less taxing to say than Two thousand Eleven. In fact it uses 20% less syllables. But before you get too excited about that fact you should think about how great things were in the last century when you could go around talking about how long your hair was in Seventy-Six or how great the disco music was in Eighty-One. Until we can get to the point where we can leave out the Two thousand or Twenty I say life in the third millennium will remain the brutally boring and tiring.

  4. John, you make a good point. Except for one thing – I don’t think anyone will ever talk about how great the disco music was in Eighty-One!

  5. I like this contribution to your blog, this Winston Churchill quote has bee part of my signature on my e-mail accounts for some time now. I think it is a great guiding mantra for us to consider as we live as part of vibrant caring communities. In my ministry, I am thematically focusing on our need to be aware of our impact on others in the communities we live in. Thank you for embracing this way of life.

  6. Thanks so much for your comment, John. Neat to know you’ve routinely used this quote in your e-mail signature. It’s a great one.

  7. Thanks for quoting me, quoting Churchill. How clever of me, even though I wasn’t positive that’s who said it. As John mentioned, he’s had this quote on his e-mail signature, and I’m sure many others have as well. It’s just so appropriate for so many times, including now.

    You are so right that there are many ways to give, and it doesn’t have to be money. Time is sometimes the best gift we can give. It’s more precious than money or possessions, because in some ways, it is infinite.

    I appreciate the link to my website, and thank people for taking time to go and read what’s there or on my blog.

    You continue to inspire me with what you give.

  8. Thank you, Christine! And for those interested in your blog, it’s here:
    http://christinepeets.wordpress.com
    (Good stuff posted there right now about Korean travel… mmm, kimchi!)

  9. Pingback: Ain’t That the Truth | 50 Good Deeds

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