Opinions are not mandatory 

Hey all, 

It’s been a while I admit however I have the best intentions to blog and then, well, life happens. 

However, during my swim this morning, I was speaking to Les (a regular lane companion) and we were talking about my upcoming challenge. That’s right folks, I am doing a pier to pier swim for the British heart foundation and I am so nervous. It’s 1.4 mile (2.25 km) open water challenge. The water will be about 14 degrees Celsius at the most and if I am lucky. I will be wearing a wetsuit and I am training for it but I am excited to be able to do something for people who know what good comes from these events and all those that it benefits. 

Anyways, this man got in the pool next to me and as Les and I were talking about the challenge, he jumped in and said I was stupid and crazy for doing it. The words he said rang in my head, ” just give them your money, it’s all their want.” I think I just looked at him in disbelief that people like this exist in our society. Les, the kind man he is, tried to reason with the man but there was no such luck. I watched him swim away and thought I dreamed the whole thing. 

However, as I sat and watch my cake bake in the oven, I cannot help be reflect on why I am doing this and what he said. Anne frank once said, ” no one has ever become poor by giving.” We all need help once in a while and I feel my life has become so much more rich because I give people and myself more. I give my old clothes to charity, I give the homeless man coffee and dinner, I give my patience to the lady with her slow trolley and loads of change. I am always finding things to give away and do. In return, I give myself more love, more time, and more understanding. I really appreciate that I can walk, I can drive, I am so independent that I don’t need any assurance to do anything. That puts me in the top 20% of the world. And I want to use that to inspire others to do something with their privileges that we all take for granted. 

Giving is not about the donation, it’s about making a difference. A difference to the quality of life someone leads. There is so much ugliness and cruelty in the world right now and things we don’t see and even they we do see and turn away. Some don’t have the privilege of turning away. There are patients in a Guatemalan state hospital with no staff but armed guards and over medicated. Those don’t get a say, don’t have a choice, and even worse, they don’t have a voice. There are people all over the world without a home, or a loved one. Without a hope or a light to the end of their ordeal that they may have to call a life. I have all of this and I have a say and a change to do something for someone else. Giving not a charity is a responsibility that I have as a human being and as a member of society. 

Sometimes, the greatest form of charity is just to withhold your judgement and be kind. Use your hands to provide others with help, your eyes to see past the beautiful life you lead, your ears to listen with empathy and compassion, and your voice to speak for yourself and the others that don’t get a chance. Give your time to others and your patience. You may never know what hell they may be going through, and you will never know when they may be your lifeline. So never underestimate your ability to make someone else life better, even if you don’t know how to. The Queen said at Christmas, in her speech, that we should all be the change we want to see, so I challenge all of you to do one random act of kindness today. Leave a bigger tip, buy two coffee and give one away, let the lady with all the coins have time to sort herself out. Do something that benefits someone else and I can guarantee that it will be the best feeling. And because small acts, multiples in a larger size, can transform a world. 

So I have decided that this gentlemen is just one man, one man with a small mind and big insecurities. I have learnt that I should never let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big. Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being. I am against the most powerful in the world as I have a voice and a choice. I chose to give back to this world. I am not rich, or well off, but I have the power to change a life with my kindness and that’s worth it weight in gold. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. We all have the power to change this world. Someone’s world, your own world. 

I hope everyone has a good day 

Ivy xx

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Author: Ivy iris

This is my story of finding my ikigai. Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ee-ki-ɡU]) is a Japanese concept meaning "a reason for being". According to the Japanese, everyone has a hidden ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is regarded as very important, since it is believed that discovery of one’s ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.

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