In 1922, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, received a higher call to spread the word of Christ. In nine years, she took vows to become a nun. Little did she or her superiors know that her unselfish years of service in the slums of Kolkatta, India, would lead to worldwide renown and her being coined Mother Teresa. Later she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 in recognition for her humanitarian efforts.
Unlike Mother Teresa, we all don’t get that strong call to serve our fellow humans and to dedicate our lives and resources to them.
No, the call is not strong form many, maybe not for your or me.
I used to think we needed to know our calling or life purpose, I spent some years trying to find it but to no avail. Whenever I thought I had found it I never followed up with effort to make a difference. I realized the thing I had ‘chosen’ as a calling had not chosen me.
Many are raised from childhood to believe that we are all special and this thinking is what causes some to pressure themselves into finding a calling.
If you are doing this, then relax, breathe, and pause. Remain still and acknowledge that maybe you don’t need to have a calling.
If you do have a great inner desire to serve your fellow humans, then find the courage to answer the call.
So what do you do if you don’t have a calling? Does that mean you live a small life?
Not at all.
You may not have a great calling, but that does not mean that you cannot contribute.
Don’t have a calling? Contribute from where you are
If you don’t have a calling where you can dedicate your life, focus on making a contribution.
We can all contribute to lessening the suffering of our fellow humans. We can empathize and lend a helping hand. And, we can do so from where we are at in our lives, in our own environment, and within our skills and competencies.
Here are some examples in my life where persons close to me have made a contribution and who don’t have a great calling.
My husband was contacted by an NGO to help refurbish computers for children who needed one to attend online school during the COVID 19 pandemic. He collected old computers from companies, spent his own money to purchase parts, fixed the computers and put in free software. My husband was able to meet the children beneficiaries during the distribution drive and those are his most cherished moments as of now.
One of my friends counsels and mentors at-risk youth who attend her church. She never cancels those sessions because of work and we respect her contribution outside of work.
For both my husband and friend, these were opportunities for them to contribute in areas they are comfortable with. They derive great satisfaction from the work and for the difference they are making in people’s lives. They were both asked to volunteer in the short-term. My friend has now gone on to get credentials as a life coach.
How can you get started with making a contribution?
One way to make your own contribution is to listen to those who need an ear. Listen to their problems and issues and help where you can, even if it is to put them in touch with a professional or to take them to an appointment.
A second way is to tell yourself that if you are asked to volunteer that you will accept it. If the volunteer event is within your skills then great, you know you can easily help. If it is not within your skills, take the opportunity to learn new skills. You will grow as a person and someone will benefit from your assistance.
Most of us do not get that all to service like Mother Teresa. Her calling helped thousands. But if we each help a few persons in some way, then collectively, we have the potential to touch the lives of millions. I am in no way trying to diminish the work of Mother Teresa. She has inspired me to see where I and by extension, you, can help make a contribution.
For those who are interested in what my contribution is about, it is simply this: to help guide young professional women through their life challenges. I believe they can make a contribution to their society where they are at and they, in turn, can help others make a contribution.