What motivates people? Some people are motivated by guilt – others by fear – others by the drive to succeed in their profession – others to accumulate financial security. The ultimate motivation for life comes in our desire to carry out the commandment of Jesus to love Him completely, and then to love our neighbor as ourselves.
When Pope Francis visited Washington recently, he reminded us, “The spirit of the world tells us to be like everyone else, to settle for what comes easy.” The Pope then emphasized, “We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and for the world.”
Anne Lorimor, an 85-year old great-grandmother, recently climbed Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. She now holds the world record of being the oldest woman to climb that mountain. She encountered some challenges such as coming down with the flu halfway into the eight-day climb, but she was motivated to reach the summit of the 19,341-foot mountain. Her motivation was not to be the oldest woman to climb the mountain, but to raise money for the Challenge Youth Fund which supports disadvantaged kids across Arizona.
When quizzed about this phenomenal feat of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, she said, “If I combine my interest in climbing with my passion for helping children, what could be better.” Anne gets it.
Alex Thomason is a 40-year old lawyer in the state of Washington. He is fascinated with fire trucks and recently bought an old fire truck for $5,000. A few days later the biggest wildfires in Washington state history broke out. Alex got his old fire truck and joined forces to help fight the blaze. He drives the truck with a team of volunteers from Okanogan County.
People asked the 40-year old lawyer, “Who’s paying you?” Thomason’s response was, “Well, nobody. I’m just doing this because these are people, these are Americans, and that’s what we do!” Alex gets it.
Ashley Aldridge is 19 years old and lives in Illinois. She came to a railroad crossing and heard a man, Earl Moorman, shouting for help. His motorized wheelchair scooter had become stuck on the railroad crossing and a train was approaching.
Ashley didn’t think twice. She ran onto the tracks. She struggled with the wheelchair, and couldn’t move it. She then lifted the 200-pound man and dragged him to safety. Just as she pulled him off the tracks, the train hit his wheelchair and the wheelchair exploded. Ashley didn’t think about herself, but only about Earl Moorman. Moorman’s son-in-law, Dave Beck, arrived shortly thereafter and said, “I’ve hugged her I don’t know how many times.” Ashley gets it.
Andre Almeida is a Canadian police officer. He heard reports of a missing 65-year-old American senior woman who had dementia-like symptoms. She had left her cruise ship when it docked in Victoria, B.C. and didn’t return.
Andre and the police found her at a downtown hotel, took her to a hospital, and then to the airport so she could fly back to her family in Buffalo. When the woman’s credit card didn’t work, Andre Almeida just pulled out his credit card and paid the fare. When asked why he would do that much to help an American senior citizen, he said, “My part was really small. I just gave a credit card.” Andre gets it.
The Pope, Anne, Ashley, Andre get it – do you and I get it?