Dave Davis
Dave Davis

Amidst all of the political jockeying, international intrigue surrounding a Saudi Washington Post reporter, and the southeast getting pummeled by hurricane Michael, many folks sought distractions offered on the silver screen this past week; some catching the latest remake of A Star is Born, myself included.

As an aspiring screenwriter and life-long sucker for a good love story, in my humble opinion, this updated version didn’t disappoint.

Of course, the way that most in our culture have come to view stars has much more to do with those who’ve risen to the top in popularity and found success in the music, film or entertainment industry and far less about those who serve humanity in a selfless capacity.

On the drive home from the theater, I couldn’t help but think about some of the “stars” within my immediate universe; who day in and day out, dedicate their own lives to making those of other’s a bit more whole.

I’m fond of the following description that Helen Shucman shares from “A Course in Miracles”, when she states: “There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene, your eyes are quiet and you walk this path as others walk. Nor do you seem to be distinct from them, although you are indeed. Thus you can serve them while you serve yourself.”

Over my lifetime, I’ve been blessed with both personal and professional connections to many of these stars – be they nurses, outreach coordinators, hospice care professionals, heads of foundations, special needs teachers and disability specialists to name just a few; each possessing seemingly “magical” qualities that define their Being, and bear mentioning.

The first characteristic that becomes apparent to me is the immediate effect that their energy has on others in their presence. It’s not always verbal, in fact, quite the opposite. There’s an unspoken trust and authenticity that transcends the connection; a feeling that this person is here to assist, while at the same time empower one to be the best they can in that moment. 

For some, they’ve evolved by overcoming adversity encountered along the way; all the while blazing their own trail.  Or as Dr. Meg Jay states in her recent book titled “Supernormal,” “To be resilient is to live one’s life outside the average and expectable.”

Subsequently, this resiliency feature seems to have aligned itself with a humanistic and values-based ethic. Each of the stars in my universe is driven not by ego, material, or financial gain, but of a genuine human interaction with those they serve. The clarity with which they bring to the table far exceeds the norm, and becomes a vital cornerstone to developing a trusting relationship.

Author, motivational speaker and originator of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul“ series Jack Canfield supports this theory by adding, “When your dreams include service to others – accomplishing something that contributes to others – it also accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. People want to be part of something that contributes and makes a difference.”

Making a difference is what these stars do, plain and simple. How incredible it is knowing that there are folks among us who leave their home each day (or night as some do), with the sole purpose of contributing to someone else’s well-being.

Which ultimately leads us to the realization that many of these stars have come to embrace; that what they do is not considered a “job,” but, more so, a “calling.”  Rick Jarow, former Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at Columbia University and author of the book “Creating the Work You Love” states: “When one is full and living one’s truth, there is a natural overflow that is expressed as the desire to serve. When one is naturally feeling gratitude for the gifts of the world as well as for one’s personal gifts, the instinctive reaction will be the desire to share that feeling. The redefinition of service shall be sharing from the heart, and such sharing will promote interactive models that move beyond profit and loss.”

How amazing this planet would be if each of us were to wholeheartedly embrace those special qualities within, and allow them to manifest into a calling rather than a job. Until then, let’s be thankful for those who’ve done so already.

Dave Davis
Dave Davis teaches preschool for the Head Start program based at the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton, NY. He is also a frequent contributor to “Who Smarted?,” a popular educational podcast for elementary school children.

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