Contribution - its adds years to your life, passion, purpose, health and happiness.
Jan 16, 2020
When comparing cultures that embrace menopause, as opposed to the Western culture that tries to avoid or delay menopause, one of the big differences is contribution.
When you step up into the wise woman's role, you step up in the eyes of society. You have a more meaningful role in your community. Your life has a purpose, and your existence enhances the lives of others. But what is really interesting is that contributing also reduces your mortality rate. The Berlin Aging Study found that looking after grandchildren reduces your mortality rate by 37%. This reduced mortality rate also included non-grandparents and childless older adults who looked after other people's grandchildren. It's a win-win situation.
Humans aren’t the only species that benefit from looking after their grandkids. Whales and humans are the only species that don’t die shortly after losing their fertility. We have a third of our lifespan still in front of us, and possibly more! One reason for this is that non-fertile women play a crucial role in society. Both in helping to raise grandkids and to help lead society in general. The oldest female whale is the one that leads the pod.
If you feel your life needs more purpose and you’re interested in contributing, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Volunteer your time
- Reach out to a local animal shelter and see if they need help.
- Local schools are always after volunteers to help with reading programs, canteen, religion/ethics classes, etc.
- There are so many charity events you can participate in, such as the Sydney City to Surf fun run, as either a volunteer or a runner! Both roles are contributing.
Share your knowledge
- Do you have an interest in arts, tourism or history? Many museums, historical locations, and tourist areas need volunteers to help educate people about the area of interest.
- Mentor an up-and-coming person in your field.
- Start a support group.
This is favourite of mine and something I regularly do.
- Once while holidaying in Vietnam, I volunteered in a local orphanage. Although I went to play with the older kids, due to my knowledge I ended up looking after the high-demand babies and children affected by Agent Orange.
- Gibbon Rehabilitation in Thailand is on my list of places to return to. They prefer volunteers to stay three months due to the amount of training needed to look after the animals. I only stayed a day.
- I’m involved with Hands Across the Water—an Australian charity that financially supports orphanages around Thailand. Twice I have been sponsored to ride my bike from Bangkok to Khao Lak. It’s a five-day adventure. This experience was amazing; the comradery from the other riders and seeing the joy in the children at the orphanage at our final destination was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. (Just in case my daughter Emily reads this, you, my darling are the best things I've ever done). We just happened to have a film crew with us, so you can watch my journey. My 2016 Hands Ride My 2015 Hands Ride
Donate your money
- Consider sponsoring someone who is actively trying to make a difference.
- Donate directly to causes you are interested in.
- Buy from environmentally earth-friendly companies. Avoid buying products from companies that are destroying our planet to make a quick buck.
WARNING - It's addictive to give. You will never know the rush of doing something nice for someone who can't repay you until you try it.