I know, I know, I haven’t written in a while. I guess I thought I didn’t have anything new and inspiring to talk about. Sure, I’ve still been seeing how many people I can make smile each day and listening to people online, but for the most part it’s been the same old things and no new opportunities have arisen. But I had forgotten something.
We all know the saying “When one door closes, another opens” but sometimes we forget that doors are inanimate objects and sometimes we must reach out and open the doors ourselves. The opportunities we create for ourselves are often the ones that will stick with us forever.
I created an opportunity for myself last month by speaking at my school. After seeing my speech, my assistant principle recommended me for a job working at a summer camp for mentally disabled adults. It has been tedious, trying, frustrating, and stressful. But at the same time, it has been so incredibly rewarding. And I have learned so much about life and myself in the process. Because after only three weeks of working at camp, the motto, “Willingly and with love” took on a whole new meaning for me.
Even when I am exhausted and sick to death of my campers, I have become willing to get up right away and make them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when they don’t like the meal set out for them, willing to jump into the pool on the coldest rainiest days because they want to, willing to push their wheelchairs around and around the camp’s walkways for an hour simply because they like it. And I will do it with love because they deserve one week of happiness in their otherwise monotonous lives.
“Willingly and with love” is not only the motto for my camp. It is also how I want to live my life even outside of camp. No, not by catering to the needs of everyone around me like my coworkers and I do at camp. But by willingly helping those in need in any way possible when attempting to ease the pain of another human being. And by doing it with as much love as I can muster.
Last night, while contemplating on how no opportunities have arisen recently, I remembered that sometimes I have to open my own doors instead of waiting for them to take action. And so I went online to talk to someone. I stayed up for three hours in the middle of the night talking to a stranger and I never even learned her name. But I was willing to stay up and listen if it eased her pain, and tried to be as loving and helpful as possible.
Opening my own doors instead of waiting around has created endless possibilities to help others and further my goals for changing the world. So what will opening doors do for you?