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Massage Today
February, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 02

Inspired By Service and Proud to be a Part of the Massage Community

By Angie Patrick

I do not know about you, but it has become so difficult to watch the news lately. There are so many people who find themselves in distress this time of year and then compound it with freakish natural disasters, and you have a SCI-FI channel movie of the week.

I have read so many stories of those who have lost all and are trying to fight their way out of a hole. It is on the news nightly, on the web, on my news feed on Facebook, simply everywhere. I am constantly inspired to do something, although the answers as to what to do don't come as easily. Were I of the financial means to reach out to every case I saw, I would absolutely be the one to do it. But, while I have some to share for those in need, it does not even begin to come close to helping everyone.

Today, I have never been more proud to be a part of a community like our massage community. I have seen people mobilize and organize and make a difference in the means and ways they can. I have watched organizations born, watched as manufacturers, resellers, therapists, internal and external stake holders in our profession digging deeply and doing what they can to provide assistance for those who they can reach and assist. This is awe inspiring.

It is not new to this industry, however. I can name 15 organizations created by therapists off the top of my head that are in perpetual outreach benefiting others. Therapists, as well as those affiliated with our industry, are by nature giving souls and caretakers. It is with this rare penchant for helping others that they go further than most, act more often than most and are first to extend a helping hand in a time of crisis. In fact, I know of those helping in the far reaches of Nepal, Dubai, South America, Haiti, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. This is not "our backyard" so the press isn't as prevalent, but the needs are similar. And it is without hesitation these people organize and provide help, often at great personal costs.

I am inspired by the acts of kindness and philanthropy I see around us. I would be quite hard pressed to look within any other industry and find so many like minded people determined to make a difference and leave a positive stake where they once stood. They make a vow to better circumstances for their brothers in need, even if that brother is on the other side of the planet. And recently, so many have rallied to support hurricane victims so close to home. I am awestruck by these people, and by their tenacity to improve the human condition in the only means they know. They rally, they convene, they persuade, they invite, they enlist and they call on every person they know to help make a difference. This is a feat that is not small by any standards, and it is a giving of themselves that you do not see as readily elsewhere.

Why am I sharing all of this with you? I am glad you asked. I would like to celebrate those who give of themselves, and who are the self appointed caretakers of the planet. This is not a job they were given but rather one they claimed as their own. They were not voted in, they volunteered. They did not rise to the occasion for self promotion, but rather out of the spirit of doing something for others, without expecting in return. This kind of individual deserves celebrating, as they are the changers of the world.

I can tell you, nothing feels as good as helping others. NOTHING. No money, no gift, no riches, no perks, no celebrity ... NOTHING. Helping others provides a sort of inner fulfillment and self assurance that a job, a chorus, a fan, a friend, a fan club could never provide. It is a high you have to try to understand. And this time of year, you need not look far to find someone who could use a little help. Being a point of hope and unexpected benefit to another person is within itself its own reward, and it will fill your soul to the brim with joy. Being able to see the relief on a troubled soul's face as you help provide means for them to achieve is something you will never soon forget. It does not take much, so even if you have little, you have more than someone else. And be it monetary, inspirational, or in the form of a gift, the recipient will never forget your act of kindness and will likely continue the swell and pay it forward.

I am proud to be in this industry. I am honored to be lucky enough to provide help where I can. It makes me proud my daughter sees her Mommy and Daddy caring for others, because she will want to do the same. Maybe it's a can of corn for the canned food drive, maybe it's spending some time packaging boxes at the local food pantry, or maybe its a few dollars in the Fireman's boot at the stoplight. EVERYTHING COUNTS! No amount of gift is too small, and a gift of your time as a volunteer is PRICELESS. And in the end, your heart will fill with joy and someone's needs will be met.

Click here for previous articles by Angie Patrick.


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