What I love about what Mark says in that chapter is that Superman, with all his great powers, is lonely. He's lonely because he's different. So, in order to relate better to the "average" people around him, in order to CONNECT, Superman helps fight crime where other regular folks can't even make a dent. By helping others, Superman helps himself. And you know, it's not hard for Superman to do this. He just uses the abilities he's born with. We could all take a lesson here.
Think about what you're good at--that talent that you never really needed to nurture (unless you wanted to) because it came to you naturally. Maybe you're good at baseball or other sports--try being a volunteer coach; maybe you love to read--try volunteering for a literacy program; maybe you're a great cook--teach a class at a community center. Whatever you're good at, you can reach out to others using that talent, and by doing something that's fairly easy for you, you can improve the life of other people significantly.
Imagine that for a second; Improving the life of others. I hope that when my day comes, and I'm sliding into "home" with all kinds of scars, cuts and bruises--because I plan to continue to live life to the fullest (which means I'll get beat up every once in a while...metaphorically speaking)--that I can look backward and see hundreds of lives that I improved in some way or another...heck, I'm hoping for thousands, to be honest. Even in contributing this simple blog, that's part of my aim.
I have a lot of experience in my short life--more than most people get in sixty years on the planet (and I'm just shy of forty...)--so if I can help even a single life improve by relating those experiences, those feelings--than I'm living life in a way I can be proud of. I did that for literally thousands of students for the fifteen years or so I was a teacher and professor. Everyday, I hoped to make someone's existence better just by being there. Maybe it was as simple as talking to someone who looked sad or lonely, or smiling at that student everyone shied away from because they had fifteen rings in various places on their face, lots of tatoos, wore black clothing, and had blue hair. That's one of the things I miss the most--reaching those students who had yet to be reached, for whatever reason. Let me tell you, if you've never felt the beauty of helping another person improve their life, you're missing out. Don't wait any longer. Get out there and use those easy talents of yours to their fullest!
I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do next that way. For years, I raised money for various regional cancer needs. Then, I developed a website for a local cancer nonprofit named Steph's Fund after my friend Stephanie who lost her life to breast cancer in 2006--actually, March 19, 2006--the anniversary of which is this Friday. I've webmastered the site and created content material for it for the last three years. I've also helped students with their application materials, financial aid paperwork, and writing--all things that are "easy" for me, but have helped those individuals tremendously. Steph's Fund raises money for the college accounts of Stephanie's three children and also gives proceeds to a local breast cancer fund. Helping students with their applications to graduate school, for transfer, for scholarships, felowships, or study abroad programs has helped every single one of those students further their educational and professional goals--giving them ALL the skills to not only be productive in society, but to be financially independent, securing their futures. What's even better is, by helping every single one of those people, each of them will now pay forward that kindness using their own talents in the future. Everytime we show kindness and generosity to another, that person is more apt to do the same for someone else. What could be bad about that?
There's really no down side to doing something like this. The BENEFITS you'll get from helping others by using your "easy" talents will be infinite. You'll want to keep doing it--you'll get addicted to the high of making a positive impact in other people's lives.
I know I have.
If you're already doing something like this--post a comment about what you do and how it's helped others.
I hope that no matter what you do, you know that just by reading this blog, you help me--even if I don't know you. There have been close to 200 readers visiting the site in the last few days. Each of you helps me by bringing meaning to my words, and therefore, my life. Words, writing--that's my life. Maybe it's not as noble as being a medical professional, but that's a job I'm simply ill-equipped to do (bad math skills...hence the multiple degrees in English). My point here is that no matter what it is you do well, as long as you do it, and use it to help others in ways big and small--you're living a life of excellence.
Here's to "helping others...with excellence! Until next time, dear readers....