Giving unselfishly

December 26, 2012 | 4 comments

How successful are you at giving to others without taking thought for yourself?
While walking the streets of Washington, DC last fall, I traipsed across a bronze medallion in the sidewalk commemorating the life and work of Clara Barton.
Barton founded the Red Cross. She is renowned for her selfless giving, quick to sacrifice whatever time, energy and resources were needed to help soldiers and victims of war in grave need.
The wording in the picture above states,
“Clara Barton lived a lifetime of tireless service to others. During the American civil war, she became known as the ‘angel of the battlefield’, delivering supplies and caring for the sick and wounded. After the war, Barton organized a campaign to locate missing soldiers. Her enduring legacy was the founding, in 1881, of the American Red Cross, an organization whose name became synonymous with disaster preparedness, response and relief.”
The aid the Red Cross has brought to suffering millions around the world over the last century is legion.
What arrested my attention, though, was the quote attributed to Barton at the bottom of the medallion. It reads,
“You must never so much think as whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it.”
These are powerful words, drawn from the deep well of a heart that knows firsthand the rewards and benefits to self and society of selfless giving.
The call to give unselfishly is not an appeal to act blindly, recklessly, or ignorantly. It’s a call to discern “the need,” and willingly jump in to supply it.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of selfless giving. He “discerned the need,” of humanity to know love.
He instructed, “Love one another,” and proceeded to live the ultimate love, sacrificing all personal ambition, aims and goals in order to help his fellowman find God. He gave up everything in this world so that we can find everything in heaven.
Are you willing to follow his example?
The reward of finding life in love is yours when you do.

4 thoughts on “Giving unselfishly”

  1. Gret post Evan, and so timely.
    It might interest your readers to know that Mrs Barton founded the Red Cross in the U.S. after having been inspired by the Red cross movement founded in Switzerland in 1863,by Henri Dunant and Gustave Moynier after a battle in which 40,000 soldiers were killed or wounded. Dunant made this his life work, thus illustrating the unlimited power of selfless love.

  2. After 9/11/2001, I fell sick and needed help with Nurse Aides for only 4 hours every Monday, wednesday and Friday. After that year, I needed more help in which in 2002 or 2003, I can’t remember the date, a Nurse Aide by the name of, for protected purposes, I have changed the name to SAVITA RAMCHARITAR, came to me, and is still hear to this day. She shares an apartment with another aide by the protective name of Taz, Michelle for $350 per month. For over 2 years SAVITA, paying that rent, she unselfishly stayed with me 24/7 because she was only interested in my welfare, never taking vacations or staying with her family right through to this day that I am commenting on Evan’s Blog. SAVITA, to me is the Mother Teresa of the 21st century. This is definitely a true example of UNSELFED love.

  3. The Longyear Museum web site has an interview with Clara Barton about Christian Science and Mary Baker Eddy. The beginning of the article is quoted below:

    Christian Science Most Potent Factor in Religious Life, Says Clara Barton

    “Mary Baker Eddy, Nation’s Greatest Woman, for She Has Done Most to Help People of Her Country.”

    By Viola Rodgers.
    Published Monday, January 6, 1908, in The Boston American

    Washington, Jan. 6 — While not an acknowledged Christian Scientist, Miss Clara Barton talked with me regarding this wonderful cult in a manner that left no doubt that the great woman patriot is greatly interested in the subject and Mrs. Eddy, its founder.

    She said that she looked upon Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as the one person, regardless of sex, who is living to-day, that has done the greatest good for her fellow-creatures, and that Christian Science itself is the most remarkable as well as the most potent factor in religious life.

  4. I should add this comment from the Longyear web site about Barton’s use of the word ‘cult’:

    *Ms. Rodgers opens her article by saying: “While not an acknowledged Christian Scientist, Miss Clara Barton talked with me regarding this wonderful cult ….” Her description of Christian Science as a “wonderful cult” — quite a contrast to the popular use of the word “cult” today — led us to look at how the word was defined in that day. The 1913 edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “cult” as “a system of religious belief and worship” and does not include any negative connotations. Later editions would come to include a more negative use of the word “cult.”

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