Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 4: Think of those in real need

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears." -Cesare Pavese

Sister Mary Beth taught me the incomparable joy of running for a purpose, running for a something besides personal gratification. Helping others became the motivating force behind all my athletic endeavors; indeed, it became the driving philosophy of my daily life. People run for many different reasons. Some people run to lose weight. Others run for peace of mind. I run to help the less fortunate. All the money raised during Run Hope went to - and continues to go to - AIDS Orphans Rising. My focus was on helping children.

During my run, I couldn't help but think of the thousands of children out there with no home and no one to look after them, no one to hold them when they got scared, no one to tell them how wonderful they are and how much they are loved. No one who cared. But, I did care. I aimed to provide these children with food, clothing, shelter and educational opportunities. To give hope. This was my mission, pure and simple, deep and true. It continues to be my mission.

Ego had nothing to do with it. In order to complete Run Hope, I had to rid myself of all conceits. The project was so much bigger than myself. It was about selflessness, about giving to those in need. It was about love.

To pull myself out of difficult situations, I simply thought of the millions of people in the world who were suffering so much worse than I was. My pain was nothing compared to theirs. I consider myself a blessed individual. I have a loving family, caring friends, food, and shelter. For many, these things are luxuries.

The next time you think you can't go on, think of those who are suffering in the world - those who have no food or water, no one to care for them . Find the strength to endure. Offer up your sacrifice in honor of those who do not have the same opportunities and advantages you do.

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