a short thought about giving back

I’ve been thinking about this all week since seeing the Happy! movie (it’s screening over the weekend in Melbourne at five locations…definitely catch it if you can). You see, in the film, there’s this Danish guy who used to be rich and fancy and he volunteers at Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying (which is just such a blunt name for a place…no softening the blow!). He stays 17 years.

dsc04825 a short thought about giving backEvery day he feeds dying, infected men. Just keeps them comfortable until they die. Every day. You can tell he used to be fancy. But you can tell he’s also, now, inordinately happy. His face radiates a settled, sorted, determined joy.

Anyway, at the end he says something like this:

“This life we’re given, it’s a loan…we’re given if for 80 years as a loan. How good is it to be able to pay it back…with interest?!”

Every bit of myself agrees with this. We’re not handed anything permanent. We step into our lives briefly, ride it, then leave. You can choose to take this as a free ride – use and abuse and dump at the end. Or you can choose to see a purpose. I think we all seek a purpose. Every happiness study says this is key. The key. We need to know why we’re here, we need a framework so that we know how far we can spread ourselves out.

And this week I’ve been thinking it could just be to pay back the generous loan…with interest.

I’m starting to look around for some volunteer work…see what pops up naturally…not forced…any ideas? Help me out here…What are some of you doing to pay back some interest which also brings you joy?

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