I don’t know about you, but until I thought a bit about these words by Winston Churchill, I hadn’t really acknowledged the enormous difference in what it actually means to make a living vs make a life. Making a living is all about our job or profession and earning money so we can have a certain lifestyle. Making a life is about love, relationships, and how we impact the lives of others.
A couple people that come to mind right away when thinking about this are Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr. Both incredible individuals lived a life full of giving and thinking of others.
Mother Teresa’s life was underlined by this concept. Here’s a brief encounter that demonstrates her view of life and the way she lived. It was a life dictated by the spirit of abundance.
“When once the chairman of a multinational company came to see me, to offer me a property in Bombay, he first asked: Mother, how do you manage your budget?
I asked him who had sent him here.
He replied: I felt an urge inside me.
I said: Other people like you come to see me and say the same. It is clear God sent you, Mr. A, as He sends Mr. X, Mrs. Y, Miss Z, and they provide the material means we need for our work. The grace of God is what moved you. You are my budget. God sees to our needs, as Jesus promised.
I accepted the property he gave and named it Asha Dan (Gift of Hope).”
This gift of hope is also what Martin Luther King preached and gave to so many through his advocacy for people of color and the under-privileged. Each of these individuals knew the importance of giving in their quest to create and live out a meaningful life.
My friends, we can’t all be Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King Jr, nor should we be. The great majority of us will be called to give in a much less grandiose way than these two examples, but whether one person or many, we can make a big difference in the world. In making a life we must all look for those opportunities to give of ourselves to others. Perhaps it is another family member, a neighbor, a friend, or someone we meet by chance. Opportunities to give of ourselves to others are everywhere.
Our efforts, no matter how small, can be like a ripple on the water that will move across even the oceans to impact many. The world may never know where and by whom the ripple of good will started, but those who do will see someone who has made a meaningful life!
Perhaps it all begins with gratitude for what you have been given. Start with that and then look for ways to truly share yourself with others and live it forward. For when you can do that, only the best is yet to come!