Give back

Gus giving back

When we were in the throes of deciding to get Gus, we struggled with the pros and cons, and the balance sheet associated with becoming dog owners.  Many of our well-meaning friends and family members cautioned us, and sternly advised us to fully understand what we were getting into.

The cost of the puppy himself became insignificant as we considered a lifetime of vet bills, pet insurance, food and accessories; not to mention the human cost in terms of time we would take from our already busy lives to devote to his ongoing care.  Many people told us we were crazy.  Of course, we went ahead anyways, and we have never looked back.

In the three and a half years since he became part of our family, Gus has given so much more than he has taken from us, no matter how we measure it.  His unconditional love, his enthusiastic greetings, his sunny and goofy disposition, his ability to connect with others in any situation, and his sweet and gentle presence when we need it are just a few examples of what he gives to us and to so many other people every day.  If it actually were possible to construct a balance sheet to evaluate Gus as an investment, I can tell you that we have come out way ahead.

The importance of giving to others is one of the basic principles that defines who I am.  Jeff and I share this philosophy, and we have tried to instill this in our children from a young age; doing our best to set an example through our own behaviour.  It is perhaps no coincidence that many of our closest friends and family members also give to others in so many ways.  Over the years we have helped support many different causes; some big and some very small, but all equally important.

This morning I received an email from my friend Debby Kaplan.  The subject was “I need your help.”  She outlined a project that her son Jordan has begun.  It is called “A Million Tweets to Remember” (1MTweets).  The website is http://1mtweets.com/   -the link above will take you directly there.

The following is taken from the email I received today:

This project is being launched today to coincide with World Alzheimer’s Day.  Its goal is to digitally memorialize one million people who have lived with Alzheimer’s disease by having their loved ones tweet about them.  Alzheimer’s robs people of their memories, so this movement is a powerful and poetic way to ensure we are remembering those who can no longer remember for themselves.  Everyone who tweets will be asked to donate a minimum of a buck to Alzheimer’s research.

Everyone has their own reasons for doing good and for giving to others.  Some are driven by religious obligation; many view it as a social responsibility that comes with being part of a civilized society.  Others don’t even give it that much thought – it is just a part of who they are.  Whatever your motivation, I encourage you to help me spread the word about this incredible project to support this worthy cause.  If you do so you will find what a mountain of research has confirmed:  doing good simply feels good.