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Today is Humanitarian Day

January 14, 2013
Estherville Daily News

Today is Humanitarian Day, a day to examine the impact our actions have on others far and wide and how we can ensure that those actions benefit others as well as ourselves.

And how is that possible?

It's really all a matter of perspective. If you've ever heard the expression, "pass it forward", that's another way of putting it.

Let's say we see another person - perhaps a neighbor - in need. Do we ignore the situation, tell ourselves that it's none of our concern, or do we step forward and offer to help. It could be something as simple as offering to shovel an elderly neighbor's steps or offering to take someone to the doctor.

Or perhaps a neighbor could use a hand with babysitting a child or taking care of a shut-in family member for an afternoon

Or maybe the person down the street has just lost a life partner. You wouldn't believe how much that casserole would be appreciates. It could make the difference between being able to cope - or not.

Being a humanitarian extends beyond just our immediate neighborhood, too. It means helping to support organizations that help others around the world. It means buying fair trade products in which workers are paid a decent wage for the country in which they live.

Even from a selfish point of view, being a humanitarian, not just today but every day, makes us feel better about ourselves. It tells us that we are making a difference in the world and making someone else's life better.

And isn't that what life is all about?



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