It is in Giving that We Get...
Especially in Restaurants in Valparaiso.

As I look back at 70+ years, I have benefitted from the help of many people. The obvious examples of people who helped me are those in the medical field. Half dozen years ago, I fell off a ladder, which resulted in a subdural hematoma and weeks in ICU. I would be dead had it not been for the doctors and staff that saved my life. That help came also when I danced with death due to prostate cancer. Today, I am alive and it has been 5-years without an elevated PSA.

Nonetheless, this essay addresses others who have helped me out in other ways outside of the hospital. Many have helped me during my life. This essay is about my contention that it is in giving that we get. I have benefited by giving. That seems on the surface as a logical disconnect - we get while giving. However, bear with me. It is true. We benefit by sharing with others.

Case in point: Ray Hewlett.


Ray and I go back decades. Over those years, he has helped me, and I have helped him. It has been years of reciprocal reaching out to the other. This is an example. Ray asked me for some help several years ago. We met and talked about the issue, and I did what I could do to assist him.

As we were leaving, Ray mentioned to me about whether I have seen the video of Steve Jobs' commencement address at Stanford in 2006. I had not. The next day, I get an email from Ray with the link. I have written about connecting the dots many times since then. I have told Ray how much I have benefited from that YouTube link. Even though I understood what Jobs said, I did not fully get the impact upon my life until I returned from Myanmar at the beginning of this year. Jobs' connecting the dots did affect upon me as I attempted to comprehend what had happened to me in Myanmar.

Therefore, it is absolutely true that it is in giving that we get. Sometimes, we benefit immediately. Other times, we benefit years later...after we begin connecting the dots in our lives. Trust me; it is true.

Ray and I have assisted each other many times...especially in restaurants in Valparaiso. This is the most recent one several weeks ago.

Ray and Al

Ray and I were sitting there for several hours and the server noticed our lengthy conservation. She came over to the table and said something to us, which I did not understand. My reaction was, "Are you closing the restaurant?" No, the server merely wanted to help us if she could. I had the server take this picture of us discussing some matter.

It is in giving that we get. Ray helped me in critiquing my putting the dots together in my life and have benefited from his insight. The dawning of a new day came amid the darkest before the dawn. Both the giver and receiver benefited in that conversation over a meal. This has been our modes operandi for years. Hopefully, the reader of this article will benefit from our decades of experience.

We find ourselves in this world in need of other's help and assistance. That is a given. We cannot live in this world alone and isolated, although we often try. Nevertheless, we all need to realize that truth and address it. All too often, our looking for help is a one-way approach. Our is to get something that will benefit us.

What we need to do in life is to help others without waiting for some benefit to us. If we do so, we will inadvertently find that those people will be there for us. That mutuality of caring presents itself when we help others without anticipating anything from them. Nonetheless, the rewards will abound for each of us. Trust me.

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