Come run or walk to help hos­pice

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Re­cently, re­searchers at Har­vard Univer­sity re­leased the find­ings of a 75-year-long, $20 mil­lion grant study on hap­pi­ness.

What did they find? The No. 1 fac­tor to de­ter­min­ing life­long hap­pi­ness is re­la­tion­ships with oth­ers. The study re­vealed that re­la­tion­ships are the key to hap­pi­ness. More than wealth, fame or ca­reer suc­cess. As a mat­ter of fact, re­la­tion­ships were found to be as im­por­tant to health as diet and ex­er­cise. This makes sense. I think many peo­ple un­der­stand that lone­li­ness and iso­la­tion can lead to de­pres­sion and ill health — both men­tally and phys­i­cally.

There is a well-known ex­pres­sion that goes “life is short.” When faced with the di­ag­no­sis of a ter­mi­nal ill­ness, life sud­denly be­comes pro­foundly short. And that is also when the re­sults of the Har­vard study be­come clear. When fac­ing a ter­mi­nal ill­ness, money, sta­tus, ma­te­rial things sud­denly be­come unim­por­tant. The ca­reer, the job, the car, the pos­ses­sions be­come friv­o­lous. What re­ally mat­ters in a per­son’s last months or days are the re­la­tion­ships with car­ing fam­ily and friends.

The Run and Fun Walk for Hos­pice of St. Mary’s this Satur­day in Leonard­town is truly about re­la­tion­ships — fam­ily, friends, neigh­bors get­ting to­gether to care for the ter­mi­nally ill and each other. It also pro­vides a great op­por­tu­nity to build re­la­tion­ships. By run­ning or walk­ing, you will help us pro­vide com­fort and care to those fac­ing a ter­mi­nal ill­ness in our com­mu­nity.

But it’s even more than that: This Satur­day is a fun op­por­tu­nity to get out, get some ex­er­cise and con­nect with the com­mu­nity and make re­la­tion­ships that can make a dif­fer­ence in life. Some­one else’s as well as your own.

There is a quote from Ma­hatma Gandhi: “The best way to find your­self is to lose your­self in the ser­vice of oth­ers.”

I in­vite you to come out and be a part of our fam­ily. You’ll not only make a dif­fer­ence to some­one fac­ing a ter­mi­nal ill­ness, you’ll make a dif­fer­ence in your own life. Life is pro­foundly short. Re­la­tion­ships are im­por­tant. Please join us on Satur­day to make a dif­fer­ence in our com­mu­nity and in our lives. For more info see www.run­forhos­pice.org.

Jim Di­cus, Hol­ly­wood The writer is di­rec­tor of the an­nual Run and Fun Walk for Hos­pice of St. Mary’s.

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