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Monday, July 27, 2009

Visit the Sick

There's an irony built into the very word "altruism."

It's root lies in "alter, " like in "alternative," meaning "other." Yet, when we do something for the benefit of "an other," i.e., somebody else, something funny happens.

We feel good.

What could have driven the great sacrifices made by someone like Mother Teresa? At the risk of sounding petty, I contend that she did what she did because she got something out of it.

Have you ever gone Christmas caroling in a rest home? Or simply visited a sick friend?

Didn't it make you feel good?

Maybe you know someone who's ill, right now, who could use a visit, and you've been putting it off for a million little reasons. But underneath it all, you know you're hesitant because sickness creeps you out.

Get over it.

"Visit the sick," wrote the poet Rumi, "and you will heal yourself.." And later, "For kindness has the power to transform."

If you don't know what to say or what to do, just remember to be yourself. Usually all the one you're visiting will need is you.

Want more tips? Check out this article.

Then go do it.

You'll be happier.

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