I have been thinking about compassion this holiday season and its relationship to our emotional and even physical being. I am active in Rotary International an organization that has a mantra of “Service Above Self.” I have been aware my entire life that serving others is a primary driver in my life. Over the past few decades I have learned far more about compassion via of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation and Rotary International. As a result of these organizations my life has more meaning, my happiness has improved and my health has improved.

I was listening to NPR this weekend. Social commentators, scientists and researchers were speaking about compassion. Discussions included information that psychotherapists have known for years ……… compassion is a loving and giving gesture and individually we are paid back at a level equivalent to the giving we express. If I buy a breakfast for a homeless and hungry person …. I will have a good and positive experience. So will he. If I teach him a trade, and discuss job skills he and I will have had an even better interaction. His life is changed because he knows how to work, his self-esteem is increased, and his family will feel love and compassion. These actions may enhance my functioning give me a positive view of the world. I have feelings of love and perhaps pride. I may feel proud because a family now has the tools to become survive and perhaps prosper. I have made a legacy for myself of compassion for myself and my family.

I belong to the Marana Rotary Club. We are active with local and international projects to improve lives of people that are struggling. I am also privileged to be the Vice President of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. Our job is to find ways to decrease incidents of Alzheimer’s, as well as, the impact of this devastating disease. Through both of these projects we fund important research, and humanitarian projects. It is our expression of compassion. Please visit our website:;, or , and consider making a donation to one or all of these important groups… Your attorney help you make a codicil for your will that can impact people forever.

Imagine what it may feel like to know that you contributed to a person not being crippled by a terrible disease, that you fed a starving village, and that a homeless child has a warm jacket. What would it feel like to know that your efforts helped someone suffering from Alzheimer’s? Think of the compassion you show to those that suffer, that have suffered and to your family when you make a contribution. Your compassion will be expressed. Your mental health will be improved. Your happiness will increase. You will always be remembered.

Would you please consider donating this year …… today? Any gifts, large or small, will go toward research projects that can change the world. One person at a time.

Randy Brooks, MA, Psychotherapist
Randy Brooks Psychotherapy
Vice President Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation
Past District Governor (12-13)
Rotary International District 5500