If we look beyond our own needs and desires and focus on how we can share our gifts, gratification will come to others and to ourselves.
Posted in , Dec 15, 2017
From my perspective, Helen Keller, perhaps my greatest hero, had faith unmatched. Faith in herself, faith in the power of the human spirit, faith in the power of giving of oneself and faith in God. I think about Helen Keller throughout the year, but very often at Christmastime when spirits, on the whole, are in both the joy and giving modes. Helen Keller found joy in applying herself fully to learning, to studying and to giving of herself by sharing her gifts and talents with the world around her. She did this the whole year through.
Just last week I read this quotation from Helen Keller in the Daily Scripture & Reflection newsletter from OurPrayer, a Guideposts outreach program: “True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” It was followed by OurPrayer’s advice, “Listen to your inner voice and focus on your purpose.”
Perhaps one of the ways we can begin to find that purpose, and ultimately true happiness, is to take some notes out of Helen Keller’s book of life. Her formula of faith would be a good place to start. If we have faith in ourselves, in others, in the power of giving of ourselves, and in God, a worthy purpose would come to us with relative ease. If we look beyond our own needs and desires and focus more on how we can share our gifts and talents with our communities and beyond, gratification will come to others and to ourselves. This gratification and focus on a purpose feed on each other, keeping in motion the rhythm of giving.
Most of us can both see and hear, yet it can still be hard to find our purpose, and hence true happiness. Helen Keller, without sight or hearing, found her purpose and lived it earnestly and joyfully. I hold the faith she had in herself, in others and in God close as I traverse my days.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader