An Altruistic Life

By Monday, May 3, 2010 2 0

When I first got into non-profit work, it was almost totally out of necessity. I wanted a job that “made my heart beat.” No, I needed a job that made my heart beat, because doing PR for [ubiquitous software company here] was doing the opposite – sometimes I felt like I was drowning. When I graduated from college, I thought that doing something I enjoyed (graphic design) would make my heart beat. I learned VERY quickly that who you work with has as much influence on how much you enjoy your work as the actual work. I also thought that doing something I was good at (writing) would be fulfilling. In so many ways, especially for an affirmation junkie like me, it’s true. But, when you fumble in that kind of environment, it seems nearly unrecoverable. When you live on “atta girls,” and you go through a season where you collect only a few, it shows.

Many of you know that for me, it manifested in panic attacks. I’ve probably mentioned them a few times around these parts. The truth is, they sort of defined a period of my life that I originally thought would be defined differently. The season that started out as commuter girl who works out three times a week and gets a big raise every year turned into what can only be described as darkness. After the first one, which lasted a total of four days, I was bereft. If I wasn’t detached and operating in survival mode, I was living in terror of when the next one would arrive. Or, not living, to be more accurate. A life lived in fear is no life at all.

What God taught me during that time deserves its own blog. I hope to have opportunities to weave those lessons into future blog entries. This entry is about one specific result of coming through that time: God gave me a new job that was all about serving others. Yes, it was also about graphic design, writing and sending missionaries, but the big picture was all about providing a service; altruism. I am fortunate to have such a job now as well. The work I do stems from concern for our children, our communities, our society as a whole. The people I work with do their jobs out of the same motivation for justice, peace and the welfare of others.

That God would provide me the opportunity to make a life, and not just a career, out of concern for the welfare of others is a privilege I treasure and marvel at. I humbly pray that between this moment and that one, God would teach me a plethora of lessons to bring to that life.