On giving back

545513_10151068901303949_1177005509_nI’ve believed for quite some time that surfing literally saved my life. having grown up in a highly dysfunctional and sometimes violent home situation, I developed a great many phobias and a very low self esteem.

I have also come to believe God gave me surfing to help me cope with my issues and to give me an inner strength and peace I had here-to-fore not possessed. It has also given me a sense of purpose and has led me to take better care of my body, mind and soul. A doctor once went as far as telling me that, with all the trauma I endured as a child and to a certain degree as an adult, I most likely would have died at an early from the toll it took on my body.

I guess that is why I have been so committed over the years to giving back to the sport. Whether it be through volunteering at surf clinics, passing on the stoke of surfing to almost everyone I meet, volunteering through the Surfrider Foundation on issues like beach cleanups, plastics issues, Ocean friendly gardening or working with school groups to help with their education on the issues, I feel it is my responsibility and debt to help preserve our oceans for future generations.

When I was in industry I also felt the same degree of gratitude for the ability to earn a good living to help take care of my family and therefore I taught industry classes and seminars for years with no additional compensation.

I don’t say this to pat myself on the back. To the contrary, I simply feel blessed to be able to have enjoyed the things I have  and give back simply because I feel it’s the right thing to do.

My point instead is, as with anything we are blessed to be able to enjoy whether it be sport, art, work, writing, you name it, give of yourself in any way you can to show your gratitude for the blessings you’ve been given and pay it forward. If we all did that we’d certainly all be a lot happier and the world and our environment a lot better off.

Thanks for checking in and see you next week. Aloha, Paul

About authorpaulhayden

Author, artist, screenwriter, environmentalist. husband, father, surfer, surfing instructor, volunteer.
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