Our labors of love are the gifts we freely give away in return for the simple joy of making others happy. Like many great presents, they often come in small, customized packages. Those small packages may be picking up groceries for a neighbor who is ill, babysitting for a couple that needs a night out, watching a pet while a friend is away on vacation, or being a great friend. Since labors of love are not required deeds such as going to work, paying taxes or attending school but rather come from a genuine desire to help others, the giver and the recipient share a special experience. The giver has the pleasure of knowing they helped another and the recipient feels cared for because someone has done something for them out of the goodness of their heart.
Given the challenges the world faces, it is very easy to feel insignificant and that our contributions don’t mean much. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Our labors of love mean the world to the one who receives them and when we lead by example, others in our circle see how powerful labors of love are and become encouraged to do likewise. Their examples spread to new circles and continue to grow outward, demonstrating that our small deeds do in fact have a big impact on the world.
There are many ways we share our labors of love. Each of us comes into the world with special talents. Certain individuals have a great aptitude for science, others are gifted in the arts, or athletics or perhaps are a very sharp business person—to name just a very few. Our God given talents may even be the means by which we earn a living. However, that is not their sole intent. The work we do in our careers provides the money necessary to live and attain greater opportunity for ourselves and our family. Money, however, does not buy us happiness. Our happiness is found when we joyfully give away our gifts. We are really cooking with gas on the back burner when we tutor a student who is struggling in science, when we perform in the arts for charity, when we coach a sports team or lend our business savvy to an organization in our community collecting funds to feed and clothe those less fortunate.
Sometimes we find a calling after tragedy strikes our lives. We become so profoundly moved and changed that we feel compelled to help lessen the burden of others enduring such a situation or work to eliminate it completely. A perfectly awful time in our lives can become the catalyst that opens doors to a level of joy that could never have been expected, making clear that everything happens for a reason.
Each of our lives has special meaning and we are all exactly where we are meant to be right now so bloom where you are planted. Continue to do good deeds. You may plan on helping others out only to find out that the joke was on you because you wound up getting more out of the experience than those you helped.
Reprinted with permission from Renee Gatz
Renee’ Gatz has been an executive in the
ﬁnancial services industry for 15 years
where she has held a variety of marketing
and communications roles. Renee’ is a
graduate of St. Peter's College in Jersey
City, NJ where she earned a Bachelor of
Science degree in Business Management while attending school
in the evening and working full time. She lives in Woodbridge,
NJ not far from her childhood home.