the “why” behind the “do”

I spent a total of 7, maybe 8 hours today, making a big map of our school’s fall festival–to be held in two days. I had drafts, I had mock-ups, I ran out of printer ink, I used construction paper… I broke licensing rules with clip art… And all the while, I kept asking myself, “why am I doing this?”

Well, when I was new to the school, I had desperately wanted a map of this festival. I wanted to know who teachers were, where classrooms were… I wanted to understand what my children experienced. I felt lost. I hated being lost. I don’t want any parent to feel like that. I want them to feel like they know where they are. Like they belong.

We do the things we want to do. Always.

I know that. But sometimes, I’m blown away when the thing we want is actually needed by others. It’s what they all “prescience.” Or “service.” Or “compassion.”

That map? It’s going to help a few kids who haven’t honed their reading skills, and a few parents who haven’t learned English fluently yet upon immigrating to this country. If it helps one child, or one parent? One? Just one? I’m thrilled.

Look at these craft pumpkins, a required donation by each class at our children’s school.

Spider, Caught in a Web of Reading
Mike Wazowski, of Monsters University

These? They were decorated by me, today, after spending the day making a map. Why? Why did I do this? Because other parents work full time. Other parents have other needs. Because other parents have other priorities. Because other parents have less. Than me.

This is simple, unimportant stuff. Maps. Craft pumpkins. School festivals. But however you function during these little events, whatever you give during these tiny times of need? They say something. Maybe not a lot. Maybe not loudly. But something is said. Such as:

I have. A lot. In terms of time, money, inclination… ability. I can. So, I do. And when I did? My kids were thrilled.

That is my “why.” And knowing “why?” It makes it so easy to “do.”

If you’re out there, finding it hard to “do?” Think about that “why.” Hard. After that? Everything gets easier.

What do you think?

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