The first year is new and exciting. The second year you wonder if it will be as amazing as the first. The third year you feel ready and experienced. The fourth year you realize it is isn’t about how you feel. Your feelings are a byproduct, a momentary gift of glimpsing why we’re here: to love and take care of one another. We are not made to be selfish creatures. Happiness arises as a byproduct of selflessness. Perhaps no other year has this realization struck us so profoundly.
We’ve always felt a pull to volunteer, to serve, especially when it comes to children. Big Brothers/Big Sisters gave us our first chance to volunteer together, and as we wrapped up our time with them the opportunity to work with Bert’s Big Adventure presented itself. This year marked our fourth trip to Walt Disney World with Bert’s Big Adventure and a new set of incredible families.
Our job as part of the photography team is to document the trip. For those who don’t know Bert’s Big Adventure, the program provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World for children with chronic and terminal illnesses. We capture the trip for the media, sponsors, and all of the people who donate to make Bert’s Big Adventure happen every year.
But we also capture the trip for the families. This second responsibility struck a deep chord with us this time. It’s hard to explain why or how, but placing our focus on serving the children and documenting these happy moments in their precious lives gave us an experience this year that we can only sum up as… joy.
So many of us are small business owners, and the stress and worry that comes with having to keep it all going can quickly weight us down. What we learned again this year is that the finest remedy for this heaviness is often found just outside the sphere of our personal cares. In stepping out of this small space to give our energy and love to others, in serving these kids, we discovered a wellspring of lightness in the center of our lives.
The beauty of that discovery was so inspiring and so humbling that we wanted to share it with our readers. It may be that the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or overworked, the best thing you can do is fill another’s life with love. Nothing could be more natural or fulfilling, because we were simply made for it.