Inspiration to Give Back

by Mike Touzeau, Staff Writer

Here are a few names you might recognize and what they said about giving back:

“Only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means.”—Leo Buscaglia was a world renowned motivational speaker, author, and a professor at USC who reminded all of us that loving our fellow human beings is easier than we think it is if we are only willing to try. He left a legacy of inspiration for anyone looking for ways to have a positive effect instead of a negative one in our world.

“When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”—Eleanor Roosevelt, a controversial but tireless advocate for the oppressed, always looked for ways to help those who didn’t seem to have a voice.

“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money.”—Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa, dedicated her entire life to comforting the poor, ill, and forgotten.

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher, challenged people to give the best of their talents to make the world a better place, and become more the person you want to be in the process.

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”—John F. Kennedy’s challenge to an entire generation inspired the Peace Corps and a new way of looking at service to others around the world.

“If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain.”—Martin Luther King not only preached non-violent social change, he preached that the only way we can live together in peace is to care about and respect each other.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”—Aesop’s words from about 2500 years ago still ring true.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”—Winston Churchill inspired a nation to never give up, and that if we stick together and lean on each other we can conquer anything.

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”—Ronald Reagan, dubbed the Great Communicator, never lost his optimism, sense of humor, and will to bring people together for a common cause.

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”—Jane Goodall’s efforts to protect animals, the environment, and human rights will make a difference for decades to come.

“You’ll never be bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do.”—No matter how old we are we can still learn something from Dr. Seuss.

If you have even just a little free time and want to make a difference, no matter how insignificant you think it might be, you could change your life and affect countless others in ways you probably would never imagine. Let us help you find your inspiration to give back.