This morning I read an article about another atrocity committed in the name of ISIS. It tells the story of 11 aid workers in Aleppo, Syria who were tortured, brutalised, raped and crucified – yes crucified – and left to hang for two days. And above the article ran an advertisement for the latest Kindle paperwhite and at the bottom the latest Amazon specials. And I think to myself: This is a picture of happiness vs fulfillment. You see, happiness and fulfillment are, for the most part, mutually exclusive. Happiness has to do with getting what you want, gratifying your desires, getting the latest and best. As long as your itches are scratched, you are happy. Fulfillment is not only a horse of a different colour, but a different species. Fulfillment is not to be found without sacrifice. It necessitates giving, being involved in something bigger than yourself, making a difference outside of yourself. Choosing to live simply so others may simply live. Those eleven aid workers chose to stay in a dangerous situation, not for fame or fortune, or happiness, but because they have tasted fulfillment and it tops feelings of security any day.
For us standing on the outside, it seems absurd to stay in a war zone when you can escape and live comfortably in your own country. For those who have experienced fulfillment, it is foolhardy to choose a temporary high over significance. Most of us have woken up with the thought: ‘There’s got to be more to life’. Good news – there is. A whole lot more. Deep satisfaction is within your reach and experiencing it once will change you forever. But, as with all things worth having, it comes with a price. It might not be as extreme as giving your life, but it might mean going without that new gizmo and giving up some comfort to reach out to your neighbour, family member or total stranger to share what you have, be that money, expertise, food or just plain old sweat equity. At RO3 Oasis we believe in being involved in our local communities, making a difference where we are at and yes, living a life of significance. See, it’s not about the water, it’s always been about the people: Our staff, our franchisees, our customers and our fellow countrymen.
Will you join us in reaching beyond happiness to a place where your heart does not accuse you? You know, that sinking feeling that grips you as you look the other way when yet another beggar at the traffic light pleads by your window? It’s true, you can’t help everyone. But you can help someone. You don’t need super-powers and a cape to be one soul’s hero. Will you choose the paperwhite conscience above the paperwhite kindle and see to what heights of fulfillment it will take you?