This I Believe

Darcy - Bountiful, Utah
Entered on May 17, 2007

I BELIEVE IN DOING.

I believe in doing. I suppose I’d be considered a task-oriented person. I feel good when I’m getting things done. And I feel really great when I can do more than one thing at a time – multitasking! My limit is about 6; I hold the baby on my hip, unload the dishwasher, eat my granola, and feed the baby his breakfast, while listening to my favorite music and singing along.

I believe life is for doing: working, playing, serving, learning, and creating. As the mother of eleven children (in addition to 13 foster children in years past), and as the wife of a self-employed entrepreneur, my life has never been lacking in things to do. There are always meals to cook, dishes to wash, children to be cared for, things to fix, business to attend too, as well as people to have fun with. Sure, some doing is less desirable than others; but I’d rather change baby now than carry him around cranky and smelly all day.

Doing moves the world and the individual at the same time. It produces happiness and fulfillment within, and physical changes and progress without.

I find motivation and inspiration from great doers–past and present. Like Joan of Arc, Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, and Oprah Winfrey. I just learned today, of a woman in India named Amma. She doesn’t do a lot of preaching yet she has a huge following. They come from far and wide just to see her and hug her. She stands for hours upon hours, all through the night, as people come through the line just to receive a hug of energy and love from her. And what does she do with all the money she receives, (though she doesn’t solicit any from her followers)? She blesses the lives of others through huge charitable projects, like building homes for tsunami victims, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and more. When asked how long she plans to continue hugging the world and spreading love, she said, “I don’t know, but it’s better to get worn out, than to get rusted out.”

I also appreciate the good doers, though silent and small, in my neighborhood and community. I realize from them that it doesn’t take money or fame to make a difference. A good deed, done to only one, be it a smile, a hug, a word of encouragement, or hours of service and sweat on their behalf, may actually affect millions some day because of the ripple effect. I find motivation from my parents and others like them, who use their would-be-retirement money to serve others in far off lands, like China, and Thailand, as they teach them the English language and teach them about God and love.

I used to think that all real doing had to produce tangible results; or at least I didn’t feel good unless my doing did. Though I still find satisfaction from even menial tasks, like dishes, I also realize that relationships are assets of eternal duration; hence, some of the most significant doings require action of the heart and mind. Unseen doing, like forgiving, repenting, listening, or comforting, though invisible, does produce wondrous intangible rewards. So now I can sit by my hubby, touch him as I look into his brilliant blue eyes and just listen, and in just listening, know that I am doing something really important, and know also that dishes can wait.

Doing makes life worth living and time worthwhile, as the present becomes a past remembered mostly by what we did in it.

As Jimmy Stewart said in the classic movie about the civil war, Shenandoah; “If we’re not doing, then what are we on this earth for?”