This week my dad mentioned a quote by Gordon B. Hinckley (prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until his death in 2008), and now that I’ve found it, I can pass it along to you:
“Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others…By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”
I recently heard of Family Volunteer Day. I did a search that told me that it’s Tuesday, November 22. As I was thinking what a nice opportunity it would give us to think a little less about ourselves do something for someone in need, I ran across another site that gave the day as today, November 19.
My first thought was, “Darn, the day is over, and we missed it.” My next thought was, “am I going to cancel plans to do some service on Tuesday because the official volunteer day was today? That would be ridiculous.”
Though I’m not a lover of crowds, I do like the idea of doing something cool at the same time that other people are doing it, so participating in a Family Volunteer Day along with lots of other people has some appeal, but if Good is getting done, I don’t suppose it matters on what day. For that matter, having it happen on as many days as possible ought to be the goal, right?
So if you and your family volunteered today, congratulations. If you’ve got plans for Tuesday, great! And if you’re making progress looking outside of yourself, losing track of your personal preoccupations as you expand into service to others, wonderful. I have it on good authority that this is something that happy people do.