Lessons of life.
We are all surrounded by lessons every day. As the old saying goes if you are not learning you are dead. Some of the most important lessons in life aren't taught to us by situations we find ourselves in, mentors or coaches, they can be taught to us by those who are closest to us.
This is the first in a series of blogs where I explore some important lessons that I have learnt from those who are closest to me.
As with many families these days, ours has been touched by cancer. It is something that can't be prepared for, and at the time of diagnosis, can turn your world upside down as your family tries to process the enormity of the situation. As a family, we are very lucky!!! Firstly we are 6 years down the track and all healthy. Secondly, when we were at our most vulnerable, we received very generous support from a local organisation call The Gift. The gift was devised by a small group of community-minded people, who through personal and or professional experience realised the need for financial and emotional support in Kyabram and district, for people with cancer.
Luke's Lesson to Me.
Luke is my 15 year old Son, he is like all 15 year old boys, pushing the boundaries to see what he can get away with, likes playing sport and his PlayStation. About 12 months ago he came to us with a decision, a decision he had made all by himself, without any input from myself, my wife or his peers. His decision was to continue to grow his hair that hadn't been cut for about 4 months and then shave it to raise some funds for The Gift. He had orchestrated the how, when and where and proceeded to grow his hair. Now for a 15 year old to even to contemplate this, when you are at an age that doing something different could open yourself up to comment from your peers, blew me away.
About a month ago he really got serious and put some fundraising tins around town and organised with the Lancaster Football Netball Club to have his shave at the after the game function. There was a build up over the last month until the day of reckoning, last Saturday. He conducted a blanket collecting at one of the games, set up a Facebook event page. Finally, the day arrived. With a little bit of fanfare and a last ditched effort to raise as much as possible, by selling sections of his head, the shave was complete. The end result, he raised a final total of $1,468.00 for The Gift.
Over the last few days, I have been thinking about what he has achieved. I am so proud of him. What a selfless act to think of others before himself, think of his community and to want to contribute.
I contacted Liz Dillon from The Gift, saying that I was writing a blog and wanted to know what were the main projects The Gift was focusing on at the moment and what she replied with bought a tear to my eye and made me even more proud (if that was possible) of Luke's contribution.
And to quote Liz.
"Sadly, at the moment we are we have another funeral we are funding. It's our 5th one this year. But for one of those families who have lost a loved one, we are working hard to build and furnish (Luke's and another community groups donation will go towards this) a 2 bedroom portable house for a family of 5 children. Also, we are helping fund trips to Melbourne, Bendigo and Shepparton for treatment, as well as helping with rent, utility bikes and groceries. We have over 20 recipients at the moment. All gift are given by way of vouchers or payment of invoices."
Luke and the wonderful volunteers at The Gift have taught me the valuable lesson of Selflessness by putting others before themselves and in doing so making the world a better place.