Hope Springs: Gratitude and Giving Back to Make a Life
by Stacy McNeiland
Spring marks a time of renewal, and this spring, the world seems to need renewal a little bit more than usual. The last two years have marked unprecedented challenges and changes. A pandemic … war in Europe … it can all feel overwhelming.
But as we watch the grass start to turn green and buds appear on stems long dormant, there are signs of hope. People are leaving their homes again, returning to time spent with friends and family.
Gathering together now feels like a glorious luxury, and for that luxury, I for one am grateful. Want to find hope in these troubling times? For me, gratitude and giving back are the water wings that do the trick.
Luckily, there are abundant opportunities to give back in our community and live our rotary values day in and day out.
Just think of all the great community events just around the corner; events that were canceled, altered or postponed over the last two years are roaring back, and I can’t wait to enjoy them.
The Arts Festival, The Redbud Classic and the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon are all time-honored Oklahoma City traditions, and they all need volunteers. Dead Center and Pride Week and Red Earth are all coming, each one providing an opportunity to not just enjoy the festivities, but to roll up our sleeves and contribute in ways we might have taken for granted before.
I and many other nonprofit leaders in our community have been humbled but not surprised by the generosity shown by our fellow Oklahomans, who have found creative ways to support our causes, even in the midst of the pandemic.
But with the pandemic’s darkest days behind us, I’m looking to the little signs of hope and the voices from our past to inspire what’s to come. I’m hopeful that our community’s best events will overflow, not just with attendees but with grateful-hearted volunteers.
Winston Churchill once said, “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.”
To that, I say, Amen.