You probably know: I'm not very religious. I have a lot of questions and uncertainties around scripture and organized religion.
But I know what I believe in.
I believe in giving back to your community. I think if you invest yourself in your community, neighbors and causes dear to your heart, your life will be richer. It feels good to give and to walk away from something knowing you made it better. But beyond that, I think if you are invested in those things, you're bound to surround yourself by people with the same values. You take care of them in tough times and they'll take care of you in tough times.
There's a simple model that I think is ideal. Take care of yourself and your family as independently as you can. Give back to your community. And when you struggle, your community will support you. They'll know that you aren't looking for a handout because you have a long history of self-sufficiency. They'll know you aren't taking advantage of them and that if the tables were turned, you'd help them. They'd know that because the tables probably have been turned and you did help them.
The wildfires, Junior League and the BCRC have been reminding me of this lately. No, we've not come on hard times. (Knock on wood.) We're fine. But as I volunteer, as we donate, as Ross fights the fires, I know we do these things because they feel good, because they are right. I also know though that deep down inside, even if it's selfish, I firmly believe if and when the tables are turned these are the communities who will lift us up.
Maybe it's paying it forward, maybe it's karma. I don't really know. I do know though that I strongly believe in it. As long as we hold up our end of the bargain, I know my community will hold up its end.