“We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” ~ Roger Ebert
(Updated reprint of a 2017 Nan Russell Thanksgiving post)
Some people collect coins or books, kaleidoscopes or post cards. While I can add my name to tangible collections through the years, what I really collect is quotations that speak to me, like the one above. As if a treasure unearthed, when I find a quotation that nudges me, inspires me, or touches my soul, I savor it.
I added this quote to my collection after the 2013 death of Pulitzer Prize winner and acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert, whose cancer battle left him unable to speak for the last few years of his life.
While reading about his life, I found his words humbling. They were written by Ebert after more than a decade with debilitating and disfiguring health issues. I’m grateful to have found Ebert’s words. Every time I read them, they encourage me to try a bit harder, to be less self-absorbed, and to contribute more joy.
It’s not hard to contribute a bit of joy every day — acknowledging others’ contributions, smiling at a stranger, being there for family or friends, helping a neighbor, listening without judgment, or telling someone how much we care.
Still, we often don’t. We get caught in our swirl of life — our own busyness and dramas and troubles — absorbed in our (continue reading →)