Updated: Mar 17
When we think of contributing, we think about giving to a cause. With our resources, perhaps it is time or money. Interestingly, the word's root declares the difference between a required contribution and one given out of a good heart.
Contribute: First recorded in 1520–30; from Latin contribūtus, past participle of contribuēre “to bring together”; see origin at con-, tribute
Con: First recorded in 1575–85; short for Latin contrā “in opposition, against”
Tribute: a gift, testimonial, compliment, or the like, given as due or in acknowledgment of gratitude or esteem. or any exacted or enforced payment or contribution. dictionary.com
Without more investigation, It appears the very word was the byproduct of the giver's motive.
I want to focus on the Motive and the end results. Why do we do what we do? Some of us are motivated by cash, some by praise, and some, like me, are motivated by a more inner sense of Purpose. The idea of enriching another person's life in some small way, contributing to a greater purpose and whole, is what moves me.
That is reflected in my work. For me, it has a purpose. It has direction. It is not about me but about the beauty I have been blessed to see. I share, hoping to make someone smile. And hopefully enough, so they want that smile to live in their spaces.
I spent 2014 - 2018 Traveling to Quito, Ecuador, and Cabrera, Dominican Republic, doing educational work for a small minority group that was miss treated and underpaid. I saw injustice in a new light and what I was teaching had even more value to them than I could have imagined.
I thought I was contributing and loved every second of the experiences, even the scary and crazy ones. But in reality, when you give, you get back more than you could have imagined. I learned more about what was important than my life in this culture could have taught me. I learned about the need to be kind to those that might not understand the language we speak.
I learned the value of community and giving in a very new way.
But it took something for me to gain all those lessons that could fill up a book. I had to want to give, to get outside my comfort zone and give up things that seemed valuable.
So if you have never ventured outside your state line, do it. If you have never traveled to another county, do it. But don't be a tourist in some bougie resort. Live with the people. Walk to a place like most of them do. Meet them, talk to them help them, even if it is just a listening ear. Eat their food, try it. And I guarantee you will walk away with more than you gave out.
So Yes, stealing a line from a wise man! There is more happiness in giving than in receiving. And a life without purpose is no life at all.
This has played a role in my photography today. I traveled with an iPhone 4 and then a 6, which was high-tech then. Included are a few treasures from the trip. IPhone style. Little did I know where it would lead me. I was having fun with my street photography and did not even know that was a thing.
This was one of my treasures in life during these years of giving. I had hoped to return to Ecuador in 2020, but we know what happened that year. One day I do wish to return to both my other families—Cabrera, northeast of the island, and Carcelen, north side of Quito.
Project - My thoughts and Ramblings
A 52-week Introspective Writing Project - Jan 2023
Week 4 - Contribution