Skip to main content

Personal Fulfillment – a byproduct of kindness, caring and service

By Stphen C. Schultz

As I watch the news and listen to discussions on the daily topics of interest, I find myself disheartened by the selfish, shallow and selective reasoning that seems to be so pervasive throughout our great country. Selfishness creates an attitude of self-pity, which over rides any attempt at empathy for others, compassion or thoughts of service. Chronic self-concern means that the emotional "No Vacancy" sign will always be sputtering. I find myself asking; what ever happened to civility brought about by kindness, tact and tolerance? Where is the courage to be caring, honest, faithful and friendly with one another? If we as a people hope for unity, we must embrace patience, peacefulness, respect, idealism, courtesy and honor.

My next thought was that these principles seem to be foreign to whole generations. Many seem to be caught up in a “scarcity” mentality where there are only winners and losers with no opportunity for a “win-win” situation to be achieved. There is a general feeling of unrest and very little sense of well being; physical as well as emotional. How do these virtues get taught to the next generation? I don’t know. I wish I had the answer.


I recently spent some time at my parents home, in Eugene Oregon, over the 4th of July Holiday. I was able to spend time with my brother and my Father in the back field cutting down fallen trees and mowing the pasture. This may not seem like fun, but I mentioned to my brother there was no place I would rather be.

As my brother Jared and I followed our Dad through the trees, I was amazed how I had this feeling of being a kid again. Even though my brother and I are middle aged with families of our own, there was this feeling of comfort and security simply being with Dad! Working together in the “back forty” again was an experience I will not soon forget.

As I watched my father on the tractor, pushing fallen limbs around, he was at peace with his surroundings and place in life. There was a confidence in his attitude and competence in his actions. I wondered if I would ever get to that state of mind. I thought about the example my father had set throughout my life and considered the life experiences that had contributed to his personal sense of fulfillment.


Ten years ago, my parents took an early retirement. Their life long dream of spending time together at the cabin in Florence and traveling the Oregon Coast took a detour. They answered a different calling. They accepted a call to serve the people in West Africa doing missionary work with those less fortunate than us. They taught others about healthy family and community relationships through Christian principles and personal example. They helped civil war victims obtain prosthetics and wheel chairs. My parents instructed young children to love one another and to sing together as opposed to warring with one another in the jungles of Nigeria. They oversaw the building of wells and irrigation systems for crops and fresh water.

My mother, who is a nurse by training, helped in local hospitals to train the staff in neo-natal medicine. Medical technology and procedures that are routine here, are literally miracles in Africa. She dispersed clothing, schoolbooks and hygiene kits to villages and schools throughout the continent. And they taught parents and communities in Togo the skills necessary to be resilient and self-reliant. They did all of this with their own funds, using monetary resources they had reserved for retirement.

They recently shared an experience with me where buses and vans of wartime victims pulled up to the curb of a wheel chair distribution site. Picture if you will, crowds of parents patiently holding limbless young children, and young adults holding disabled parents. All were hopeful to receive a wheel chair. My parents assisted in this process and were able to distribute over 500 wheel chairs. They shared the story of children, once they were situated in their new chairs, wheeling around the premises. These small kids were joyfully out of control, exploring their new found mobility and freedom. For many of the young ones, it had been years or even a lifetime with no mobility.

Happiness is not acquired. Joyfulness is not obtained. As I look at my father and mother, their sense of fulfillment is a byproduct of how they chose to live their lives in the service of others.  Never once did they ask themselves what they could do to be “happier” or increase their "self esteem". Simply stated, in the process of “giving”, they actually “received”.

Comments

Unknown said…
This paragraph is in fact a pleasant one it helps new net viewers, who are wishing in favor of blogging.
Alabama Tree Services
I appreciate your comment Jone.
AlphaOmegahc said…
hello!!Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
Thank you for the comment Alpha Omega Healthcare. I'm glad you enjoy the blog!

Popular posts from this blog

Life transitions are inevitable! I'm no exception

By Stephen C. Schultz This is just a quick email to share with you that after 20 years with the Ascent Companies, I am making a transition. I want you to know that the last 20 years have been more than I could have ever wished for. What a great opportunity I have had to not only work with, serve with and be friends with all who are a part of the RCA , DRG , DRB , Oxbow , Discovery Day PHP , Connections and Oasis programs. I owe such a debt of gratitude to the four original owners, Dane Kay, Steve Peterson, Scott Peterson and Jim Salsbury for seeing my potential and taking a risk on me back in 2002. Steve Nadauld, Brent Hall, Andrea Burgess, Clint Dorny, Shawn Brooks, Steve DeMille and the program teams have been like family and an absolute joy to be around.  I feel honored to have played a small role in the success you as educational consultants, private clinicians and us as treatment providers (working together) have had over the years on literally thousands of families.  #GRATITUDE

The Young Boy and the Rattlesnake

By Stephen C. Schultz (Editors note: This is a story used in a Wilderness Treatment Program for Young Adults . Many come to this program having struggled with substance abuse and interacting with unsavory friends.)   Many years ago there was a young Native American who lived in the very land you are residing in. He decided to seek wisdom by journeying to the top of Indian Peak. As he approached the base of the mountain he came across a rattlesnake that slithered beside him. The snake coiled as if to strike and the young boy moved back quickly in fear of being struck by the snake’s deadly venom. At that instant the snake spoke to the boy saying, “Don’t be afraid of me, I mean you no harm. I come to you to ask a favor. I see that you are about to traverse to the top of Indian Peak and was hoping that you may be willing to place me in your satchel so that I don’t have to make the long journey alone.” The young boy surprised by the snake’s request quickly responded b

The Ambush

By Stephen C. Schultz His breathing was heavy and fast.  Mucus sprayed from his nostrils and his cheeks fought the g-forces as if he were a fighter pilot leaving the deck of an aircraft carrier in an F-16. His neck muscles strained and his face grimaced as the fight or flight response kicked in. Five; six; seven now eight steps into his evasive action that was steeped in athletic prowess and natural instinct, he thought he was in the clear. Once again, he had cheated death and the angels of mercy had looked down upon him. It didn’t register right away. With each step, the distance grew larger between him and his immediate threat. It shouldn’t have happened this way. There was so much to live for. He was in the prime of his life with family and friends who loved and cared about him. He didn’t want it to end this way. The pain was quick and sharp. It penetrated right in the square of his back between his shoulder blades. His chest was thrust forward and his arms