By a long shot 2015 has been a massive year of change for me in my life. I was ‘born again’ as a Christian in my mid-20’s, once taught Sunday school and when my life changed and I came to Sydney – I kinda moved on from the Church.
I would proudly identify myself as a Christian, however I found that attending Church for me challenged my own views of what a ‘Christian’ actually is and I questioned how productive my time was in helping people (don’t get me wrong, I am pro-Church and all – however, I found it wasn’t for me).
As time passed I did more and more charity work on my own. Be it helping out people here and there, building in charitable giving to my business and that – however, I certainly felt like I could have done more.
My journey into being Knighted in the Order of Saint John started originally with growing interest in the Knights Templar (who are massive in the UK today) and I was very lucky to meet Schon Condon & Richard Abela. If you know these two fellows, they are from Condon Associates and professionally we were lucky to connect.
They both saw my own independent charity acts and one time they invited me to visit an ‘Investiture’ session. This is basically where people join the order. I really liked it in that Women and Men have full equal rights (as it should! Dames & Knights are the ranks), they are into their tradition but focused on the future – and more importantly, I really liked their focus on just helping people.
That is – it’s not about “Oh here is a ceremony and praise the lord”, it’s about “How do we impact lives and help people?”
Lots of the Order of Saint John (as per its origins) are focused on Hospitals and Medical Research – often raising funds and lobbying to support their growth and focus. Since my time in the order, much of my time has been to helping Market them, create their new website and more donating my ‘Marketing Skills’ in that regard.
It’s been a massive time of joy in my life! Without doing research (I could be wrong here), I recall Mother Theresa making multiple references to the true joy in life being that of helping others.
It’s true! I couldn’t agree more and even before I became a Knight with the Order of Saint John, I remember that some of the happiest times of my life was when I was helping other people. Working with Schon, Richard & the other members of the NSW Priory of Saint John has been a pleasure and there are many more things to come.
My advice and lessons from all this? Depending on where you are in life – some type of charity work is very important. Spiritually helping everyone is a great thing, sure – however talking personally, the Joy & Happiness of helping others cannot be provided by any other means.
Love your work, many things are coming from the Order of Saint John (so stay tuned) and Stay Awesome!lar)