“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun melts ice; kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.’
Since 2010, surgical mission work has allowed me to serve the underserved, share my knowledge with other surgeons and learn how medical professionals in other parts of the world achieve results with fewer resources. I am grateful to have had the privilege to serve patients in Haiti, Peru, Cameroon, El Salvador, Nicaragua and soon Paraguay. I’ve learned too, that serving others also cultivates and attitude of gratitude.
Medical philanthropy has helped me develop a greater appreciation for my health and having access to quality health care. Yet, I realize that much of the world’s population is not afforded access to employer paid health benefits, paid sick-leave or easy access to health care providers. One of the lessons I’ve learned in my mission work is the importance of being grateful and giving back. Gratitude grows when we consider the needs of others, especially those less fortunate than ourselves.
Gratitude is a spiritual step that encourages authentic generosity. “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not to what one does not have” 2 Corinthians 8:12. Gratitude and generosity are different sides of the same coin. Similar to the inhalation and exhalation of our breath, together they allow us to live fully. Giving our time, finances, knowledge, talents and resources are all manifestations of generosity. We all have gifts to share.
An Opportunity to Share
IMA Helps is an organization that provides medical humanitarian outreach efforts in various parts of the world. Working with teams of medical and non-medical volunteers, IMA brings much needed health care services to the most underserved communities. I invite you to consider sharing your gifts through volunteering or reach out to IMAhelps.org to learn more about how you can make a difference.
‘It is not what we give, but what we share. For the gift without the giver is bare.”
James Russell Lowell