Beliefnet
Because This Is Your Life

Is it possible that something which looks little is actually big?

When it comes to the town you live in the answer is…yes.

And the same is true for the neighborhood you grew up in.

Let me explain…

Back in July 2013 I went to visit family in New Jersey. While there I had the opportunity to go to a benefit concert that was organized by someone I’ve known since the age of 10.

The concert—held in a bar that holds 150-200 people tops— was for a friend of hers who just had brain surgery to remove two brain tumors.

But this wasn’t just any ordinary event to raise money.

It was also an opportunity for a close knit group of 200 people from a small New Jersey town (Sayreville) to help a friend in any way they can.

Yes, there were four bands that played (one of which included a well known rock star) but it was for something bigger…an important cause.

Included in this cause is that “something” which seems small on the outside, but is enormous on the inside.

And even though this has to do with a small town—one that you may not have lived in—it brings up the question…

Have you given thanks to where you grew up?

1. Friends in need unite- Each of the four bands that played did so in support of Dawn (the girl who had the brain tumors removed) and her family. The main band out of the four that played included Dave “Snake” Sabo.
Dave is the founder of the band Skid Row. Along with that he was the first guitar player in Bon Jovi’s band.

Even though Dave is currently on a worldwide tour he still took time out to play this show.

Why?

First, because he grew up with Dawn. Second and most importantly it was for a deeper cause…to support her (and her family) in raising money to help pay the medical bills for such an operation.

Dave wasn’t the only person who took out the time to help a friend…

It was each person that showed up…who took time out of their busy schedules…who as a group united as one to help a friend.

Or as I like to put it…

“Friends help friends in time of need.”

And it all came down to having a big enough “why”…having a cause greater than yourself.

Think about your own life…

What cause are you dedicated to? What is it that’s most important to you? How can you help a friend, your family, your town…the world?

And if by some chance you feel you don’t have the time…

Remember…

There’s always time when it comes to something that’s most important to you. And you’ll find a way to get whatever that is done…even if it seems impossible at first.

So if you’re looking for the quickest way to go from where you are now to where you want to be…come up with a cause that serves and helps greater numbers of people.

Now how does this tie in to giving thanks to where you grew up?

2. Your town my town- The little bar where this event took place is a mile down the road from where I grew up. While most of the people who showed up lived about the same distance away, others grew up in the surrounding towns.

But it didn’t matter…

Because my town is their town too. And together it’s our town.

And the same applies to you and where you grew up. Along with this is something to always remember…

You are one of the people who make up where that special place is that you grew up in. On the surface it may not seem that way, but you do make a big difference.

How?

Just by interacting with different people in the area. Simply doing this creates a ripple effect that makes it’s way to other people. And collectively it creates the type of change that benefits everyone involved.

This is what happened as a result of this benefit show to help Dawn.

New friendships were created. Old friendships were revived. And a friend in need (and her family) realized that an entire community cared enough to help out.

What about where you grew up? How does it help you on your life’s journey?

Have you ever taken the time to look at this? Have you ever realized how it shapes you in determining what you’d love to do in your life?

As you do this you’ll realize that you’ve experienced both sides of life in the process…

The happy and sad moments, people supporting you and people challenging you, the “ups” and “downs”, the giving and taking.

And the more you look for both sides, the easier it is to discover how where you grew up has helped you on your life’s journey.

The result…

You’ll be grateful and give thanks to where you grew up.

Now what about that “something” which seems small on the outside, but is enormous on the inside?

3. Small neighborhood Big hearts- Prior to the last song of the night Dave spoke into the microphone and said…

“I love this town. When one of our own is in trouble everybody shows up and Dawn is a dear friend of ours…and she got in a little trouble with her health and everybody showed up and they put out and put up.”

Now to most people Dave is this big rock star. But to the people of Sayreville, New Jersey who grew up with him…and knows him from the neighborhood….he’s just like everyone else…a person with a big heart.

And this is that “something” which seems small on the outside, but is enormous on the inside…having a big heart.

Not only that…

But this spreads into an entire town. It’s where those small neighborhoods have the biggest of hearts.

And the same is true for you and where you grew up.

The more you “show up”…and “put out”…and “put up” in doing something that’s true to you…that’s for a cause bigger than yourself…the bigger your heart is. And other people will instantly see this as well.

Now back to the original question…

“Have you given thanks to where you grew up?”

Just know that this can be answered in many ways…

It can be as simple as saying “thank you” in your gratitude journal.

It can be showing up to a benefit show for a friend.

It can be volunteering and/or donating time to your special community.

It can also involve being rewarded for helping you fulfill your life’s purpose and then giving back to the same community that helped you in that.

And how can you do this…

By being your true and magnificent self. Because in the process of doing so, you’ll realize what you’re here to be, do, and have.

And…

You’ll also realize the tremendous amount of value you contribute to the world by being the special person you are.

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