A few thousand years ago, helping others wasn’t optional. From the moment we could walk, we played an essential role in helping our tribe to grow and thrive.
Modern society, on the other hand, seems to do everything that it can to isolate us from our fellow man. We lock ourselves away in concrete boxes, travel in metal bubbles and replace real hugs with Facebook likes.
For most of our lives, our family nurtures our need to be needed. While we are raising our children, it’s easy to imagine that the world outside of our home doesn’t exist.
Then, as we reach our 60s, we suddenly find ourselves alone once again. We continue to love our children and support them in whatever way we can. But, we know in our hearts that our world has changed. We needed to find new people who need us.
The saddest thing is that most of us don’t realize that we need to be needed. Companies spend billions of dollars trying to convince us that buying their product will make us happy. Technology tells us that a virtual hug is the same as a real hug. Movies tell us that “greed is good.”
Our hearts tell a different story – if we are willing to listen. They beg us to make the world a better place. They encourage us to find the meaning of our own lives by meaning something to others. They remind us, in a voice so soft that we need to strain to hear it, that we need to be needed.
Being needed after 60 is a choice. No-one needs us while we are locked in our concrete castle. We need to get out into the world and find places to apply our unique talents. We need to take emotional risks. We need to look for opportunities to be needed.
We are all unique. We have special talents. We value different things. That’s ok. The world would be a pretty boring place if we were all the same! Choosing how you want to be needed is a deeply personal decision. In fact, it gets to the very heart of who you are.
What do you value most? Do you want to make a difference in the lives of young people? If so, maybe becoming a part-time councilor or mentor would be a great option.
Do you believe that the Earth needs to be protected? Perhaps joining a group that takes care of a local park or forest would be a great idea.
Do you believe that the best way to create value in the world is to start a business? There are thousands of younger entrepreneurs that could benefit from your experience and wisdom.
No-one can tell you how to be needed. The only mistake is pretending that you are on an island.
So, reach out and make a difference in the lives of others. Embrace your need to be needed. It is not a weakness. It is a sign of strength.
Do you agree or disagree that we all need to be needed? Why? How do you personally give back to the world? Please join the conversation going.
Tags Finding Happiness