325 Days ’til 40: Heralding Hope, Defeating Despair

02 Apr

In the world we live in today, it can sometimes be hard to find hope.  Even when our lives are going well, we look around us and see unemployment, poverty, crime, and tremendous amounts of suffering world-wide.

I often like to take a moment and pause and remember all of the wonderful people and organizations who ARE making a difference in our world.  We do not have to be dragged down by despair , we can find those moments to honor all those around us who are working to turn despair into delight, gloom into gladness.

Who are these amazing people who are helping to turn the desolate places in our world into castles of caring?

  • Teachers – they put in hours and hours a day to educate our nation’s children – often struggling to pay for basic needs on their salaries, particularly if they are a single parent family.
  • Nurses – often overworked because the hospitals are understaffed, they are the frontline for patient care, sometimes in very dire conditions.
  • Doctors who volunteer their time, such as “Doctors Without Borders” – many use their skills above and beyond the call of duty – joining special missions to third world countries in order to provide medical care to those who would never have the resources to obtain it.  It is amazing how much some people choose to give back.
  • AmeriCorps Volunteers – these young people are giving their time to serve the country and assist in low- income schools and neighborhoods, often delaying the start of climbing their career ladders so that they can serve their fellow mankind – they are truly an inspiration.
  • Peace Corps Volunteers – yes, they are stereotyped for being crazy hippies by some, but how amazing that they are willing to represent the USA by reaching out to serve people in developing countries – they serve as ambassadors of hope on a daily basis and they sacrifice so much to give – often placing their lives on hold for two years or more to make a huge impact on the lives of others.

If we take the time to look around us, we are inspired daily by individuals who give us the hope to believe in humankind.  We really are capable of reaching out to each other in love and support.

Today, 325 days ’til 40, I will remember the good work of those around me.  They are an inspiration and I strive to be able to offer my services in order to impact the lives of others.  What an amazing gift it is to have the opportunity and privilege to assist someone in need.



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61 responses to “325 Days ’til 40: Heralding Hope, Defeating Despair

  1. rabidmongoose

    April 2, 2012 at 00:22

    Yeah, that’s really good, thank you. It is easy to get down, to look around and despair at all the pain in the world. But you are right: There are many victories being won on a daily basis and it’s important to acknowledge them and celebrate each victory. I really needed this today, thank you!

    • 400daystil40

      April 2, 2012 at 05:11

      You are welcome! I needed it too!!! 😉

  2. jensine

    April 2, 2012 at 00:23

    Again, fantastic pic …and you are so right by helping others you are kind of helping yourself

    • 400daystil40

      April 2, 2012 at 05:11

      Thanks! The photo was taken in Cadiz, I believe! 🙂

  3. hopewinter

    April 2, 2012 at 00:36

    Wonderful reminder to me to tell those around me that I love them and appreciate them, especially those that have helped me through hard times.

    • 400daystil40

      April 2, 2012 at 05:10

      Thanks! I think I wrote this entry as a good reminder to myself!

  4. walkwiththerabbi

    April 2, 2012 at 00:47

    Excellent and thoughtful as always. For another great example of the above, let me invite you to google Flagstaff Sedona Dog and open the pdf for this editions profiled organization. THAT’S US on the front cover with a story about our sanctuary!!! Also, kindly visit my blog-site at “” This week’s post goes to the heart of some of what you’ve written here. Say-what would you say to us linking our sites? We have a common spirit.

    • 400daystil40

      April 2, 2012 at 05:09

      Thanks for your great comment! Linking sites is a very interesting idea….. I think there is a way to list sites on the right hand side of your blog… like a widget…. I am traveling this week, but will look into it when I return home @ Easter.

  5. terry1954

    April 2, 2012 at 00:50

    i think that the more poverty, confusion, and problems our world faces, the more i dwell within the arms of christ, and stay inside my comfort zone

    • 400daystil40

      April 2, 2012 at 05:07

      I know so many people who have done exactly what you say.

  6. dcwisdom

    April 2, 2012 at 01:56

    And I think a week in this month is Volunteer Week. Good post recognizing volunteers and their self-less work. Wish there were more people willing them.

  7. buckwheatsrisk

    April 2, 2012 at 02:04

    so true! i think the giver is just as blessed as the receiver!

  8. dcwisdom

    April 2, 2012 at 02:04

    ooops…Wish there were more people willing to do the same. Sorry. That’s what I get for texting and blogging at the same time. 🙂

  9. sahbinahvioletflynn

    April 2, 2012 at 04:13

    Thank you for this important reminder. To honor those that help others and for us to help in whatever way we can, whatever our circumstances.

  10. writerwannabe763

    April 2, 2012 at 04:21

    You are so right…there are a lot of organizations and individuals who do good work for those less fortunate, whether the be in our own communities for the homeless and needy, for those in far off countries where the people have so very little.

    I was privileged for 13 years to work for a Non Governmental Humanitarian Organization and could readily see the poverty and need. A thank you has to go to the ordinary person who gives a donation from time to time to help these organizations to do their work ! Sometimes it is the one who can least afford it. …. Diane

    • 400daystil40

      April 2, 2012 at 05:02

      Yes, that is so very true… I also notice that the people who cannot afford to give are often the ones that are the most generous… funny the way that works.

  11. Nate

    April 2, 2012 at 07:44

    All the rewarding jobs seem to pay the least. Maybe this will change someday.


    • 400daystil40

      April 2, 2012 at 12:34

      Yes, this is so very true…. Sometimes I cannot believe tech people make more than educators….. And the work that follows educators home!! Oh why didn’t I go into something like tech or investments??? 😉

  12. viveka

    April 2, 2012 at 12:36

    The most important thing is that we help when help needed … not giving to loads of charity and then don’t help out in our everyday – somebody laying on pavement – somebody struggling with getting the pram or stroller on or off the bus – somebody dropped something on the floor – or just holding up the doors for each other. Charity starts at home. With help in small scales first of all .. means love an support when it’s needed. Admire all those that so passionate and unconditionally are there when we need them – admire them for not giving up.

    • viveka

      April 2, 2012 at 12:37

      By the way … love your photo !!!! Is’t your own … really beautiful.

      • 400daystil40

        April 2, 2012 at 12:42

        Yes, all photos on this blog are taken by either me or my partner. This one was taken in Cadiz, by my partner I believe (we pass the camera so sometimes I forget who takes which photos!). 😉

    • 400daystil40

      April 2, 2012 at 12:43

      Yes, definitely!! I love how you mention the daily things we can do to help make the lives of others easier. So VERY important! Thank you!

  13. Spider42

    April 2, 2012 at 14:16

    It’s interesting how you see different reactions – some people will focus on the lazy/pretentious/yuppie type of volunteers who never really know anything and are enthusiastic but have no clue what they are getting into and screw up and waste everyones time (known a couple personally in fact); others focus on the self-righteous and annoying over enthusiastic type who need to take some medication, do some meditation, something, anything to dial back a bit of the intensity and dislike/disrespect for anyone not doing what they are doing; others still are there who would focus on those who quietly do what it is everyones supposed to be doing as aid workers and the like and simply going about their business.
    Each one has something of value but the last category, which to me is the most relevant and critical, is usually the one taken as a given/for granted and the others become a good reason to say what a waste it can be and what morons undertake these things and the like.

    Helping others to me is never a bad thing, sometimes even if its self-serving in the end it’s worth it if you help someone be better off than they were. Ideal or not, life gives you chances, work with what you have, the best you can and honestly – then ask yourself if you hold any secret regrets on not giving back and being a good person (this is something I really wish more religious fundie types would introspect and answer…) and that answer will tell you if you’ve done enough, could do more, NEED to do more or don’t care enough in which case it doesn’t matter anyway.

    And sorry to skip over some of the other professions indicated – I agree about them all too, nurses and teachers especially being standout for me in that they are exceptional people who do huge jobs for us all and are never appreciated or respected even a fraction of what they should be by all.

    • 400daystil40

      April 3, 2012 at 04:30

      Thanks for yet another wonderful comment!

      • Spider42

        April 3, 2012 at 09:11

        Now you’re making me blush! 😀

  14. Beth, just being me

    April 2, 2012 at 15:28

    I just read a post about 10 keys to happier living and “Appreciating” is one of them. Well said

    thanks 🙂

  15. saymber

    April 2, 2012 at 15:45

    Excellent list – one of the folks I really admire and that gives me hope is Cesar Millan. As a advocate for animals myself, everytime I see what he’s out there doing on the behalf of animals I am inspired with hope. Other agencies like ASPCA, Humane Society and more like them give me hope as well.

  16. maudestandard

    April 2, 2012 at 15:50

    I have done volunteer computer tech.
    People didn’t understand why I fixed them for free.
    Anyone who wants to, should have a computer.
    I refurbished old computers and they are still running. I have an old laptop that was given to me and I got it running well. I was able to lend it to someone and it is still running.
    I don’t talk about this, but the non profit I was volunteering at got a new supervisor for when the place was open. The majority of the patrons were minors.
    The woman who took over, Took Over and shoved me out. She had to be the smartest girl in the room.
    When I’m alone, I’m not the smartest person in the room.
    I have to say that it was a painful experience. I ranted to my little self until I got it out of my system. Now, it doesn’t matter.
    Literacy volunteers are wonderful.

    • 400daystil40

      April 3, 2012 at 04:34

      It sounds like helping others did not end up being a good thing for you …I hope this changes for you in your life!

  17. ssgt leslie

    April 2, 2012 at 16:04

    thanks, there are others, we have volunteers visiting sick people in the hospital, taking care of our widows and orphans, the military [ even though the media does not report it, i know first hand the good we do, the humanitarian missions ], team rubicon are veteran volunteers going to areas of natural distruction to help. all in our small way can make a difference…

    • 400daystil40

      April 3, 2012 at 04:25

      great point, I am glad you wrote this comment to add them!

  18. norinep

    April 2, 2012 at 16:36

    Good post. One of the problems I see is knowing whom to help. You can help the prostrate man on the street, but the person asking for money on the street corner is most likely not in need; then again, he may need help. We get bombarded by organizations asking for money for research for diseases, helping starving children, helping to save pets, the whales, and so on. Sometimes, money isn’t the only answer, but volunteering is. You can directly impact the world around by volunteering. You don’t know where your money is going when you simply send a check.

    • 400daystil40

      April 3, 2012 at 04:24

      very good point… I struggle with this as well – I have had friends who give money to the homeless, only to find out that the person was not really homeless – you do have to be careful.

  19. artblablablablog

    April 2, 2012 at 18:46

    Dovetails right into my last post, Hope, a lesson learned from a “dead” tree. Things are not always as hopeless as we think, our attitude paints our picture of what we are seeing. Miracles happen daily right under our noses and most without any notice from us, especially if we have lost hope. Just saw the movie Hunger Games and one of the lines was from the gov’t saying they don’t want to have the people lose hope because hope was stronger than fear. If they lost hope they would become violent.

    • 400daystil40

      April 3, 2012 at 04:23

      Yes, I agree with everything you just wrote!!! 🙂

  20. John Jonelis

    April 2, 2012 at 19:46

    Joy is there for you. It comes after surrender–when you take yourself off the throne of your life and let God take that seat.

  21. kahyehm

    April 2, 2012 at 20:03

    Hey! I’ve learned so much about life in your blog and it inspires me… so… i nominated you here 🙂 thanks for your inspiring words, keep on blogging 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      April 3, 2012 at 04:18

      Thank you so much, you are so kind! :_

    • 400daystil40

      April 3, 2012 at 04:21

      Thank you so very much – I am flattered.

  22. Amy

    April 2, 2012 at 20:22

    There are many, many quiet heros, and they are the ones who make the world a better place. Thank you for the reminders!

  23. annesturetucker

    April 2, 2012 at 22:54

    Great post and great blog!! I have just nominated you for the “Versatile Bloggers Award”
    Please check it out here

  24. The World Is My Cuttlefish

    April 3, 2012 at 15:02

    All around us, on their everyday lives, people are inconspicuously giving hope to others.

    • 400daystil40

      April 4, 2012 at 04:17

      So true…. I find it is always amazing when people give hope without even being aware they are!

  25. buckwheatsrisk

    April 4, 2012 at 04:26

    i have nominated you on my blog for the 7×7 award. i love your blog and writing!

    • 400daystil40

      April 4, 2012 at 04:39

      Why thank you so much! What a compliment! 🙂

      • buckwheatsrisk

        April 4, 2012 at 04:43

        you’re very welcome! 🙂

  26. A Light Filled Life

    April 4, 2012 at 05:06

    Wonderful comments and thoughts. It is very true that it is hard to stay focused on the happy things when we are bombarded with sadness from all angles. I find it easiest to stay focused on the good by listing out my blessings. If you list out your blessings on a regular basis you will be amazed at how much He provides. It will inspire you to inspire and help others.

    • 400daystil40

      April 5, 2012 at 04:34

      What a great strategy! Thank you so much for sharing it! 🙂

  27. SkiDaddy

    April 5, 2012 at 06:41

    You may have heard this before, and likely have, but I suggest to you that putting your 400 days into a book would be well received. Common sense and honesty are traits that are in need today, and to have them available would be, well, great.
    You inspire me.

    • 400daystil40

      April 5, 2012 at 14:22

      Thank you so much for the compliment! I first need to get to the 400 days….. 😉


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