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“People have found inner peace by losing themselves in a cause larger than themselves. Finding inner peace means coming from the self-centered life into the life centered.” – Peace Pilgrim

make a wish trip to disney

This is my cousin, Lynn, who because of Make-A-Wish went to Disney World. It was the last trip she and her brother Andrew would take together and one that neither will ever forget.














The more we focus on pain and negativity, the more both multiply. [Tweet this.]

Last weekend my entire body ached, both ears were congested and I felt exhausted. Leaving for a busy travel week on Monday brought no relief as the symptoms continued. Slept in and arrived at the airport late. The line for security was longer than normal, they ran my bags three times and the wait for breakfast was too long. My three-hour flight would have to be fueled by peanuts.

I watched the passengers line up and file onto the plane. It was evident that there would be more kids on this plane than adults. I realized that I was not just on a flight headed to Orlando, but for any of the passengers on a flying school bus to Disney.

Poor me!

Then the pendulum of self-centeredness finally started swinging toward life-centeredness.

As I made my way on and gradually toward the back of the plane, I noticed that the kids all had the same stickers on their shirts and hats on their heads. Looking closer, these were sick children and their siblings celebrating life. The organization Make-A-Wish was sending these kids and their families on a trip to Disney World; a vacation from treatment schedules and the reality of terminal disease. This time would be a holiday to bring joy, hope and unity to families and children who knew too much about real suffering, challenges and pain.

As I walked past these brave, smiling children my ears cleared and aches dissipated. My need for an aisle seat or a big breakfast left me. For the first time that day, the focus was no longer on me. The moment went from being about my needs to praying for theirs.

And in that simple shift everything changed. 

Today, how much are you focusing on the pain and negativity of life? How’s that working for you?

What might happen if you turned from being self-centered toward life-centered? [Tweet this.]

Being life-centered doesn’t make your pain disappear, but instead serves as a reminder that pain is relative, life is precious, and love for others is transformative.

Those who are self-centered never have enough. Those who are life-centered, even when things aren’t perfect, always have enough.

Be on fire today for the great gift of your life.

John O’Leary

I met the executive director of Make-A-Wish recently. David Williams is a very good person, with a very big heart, leading a very beautiful organization. For every share and comment today, I’ll be donating $5 to this light-bringing and life-breathing organization. So connect with me online (blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and share away. Let’s find inner peace, life-centeredness AND make a difference together.

13 replies on “Time to Make a Wish”

I love your story, how you changed your mood in just an istant!
My son is getting his wish trip to Disney and we are leaving in just a week. We wouldn’t have been able to do this trip without the MAW foundation, and I am so thankful for them!
It is hard for a parent to accept that their child is sick, or in our case, terminal. There is a lot to do to make sure your baby is “comfortable”. I am so excited for the 6 of us to try to relax and build wonderful, life-long memories.
I was brought to tears with reading your story. I hope we can make someone smile and make them happy too. God bless you!!

Thanks for taking the time to share, Lisa! Have a wonderful time on your trip – enjoy relaxing and building memories together. What a special time for you! Enjoy every moment. J

John, I heard you at a AMBUCS convention and have read your emails..just want to mention over the weekend a young man in Troy Ohio put gasoline on a bonfire and was burnt…I will try to find the link maybe you can help the family out with an email…

What a wonderful lesson in perception! What a wonderful organization, Make a Wish! What an eloquent way you presented your message – “Those who are self-centered never have enough. Those who are life-centered, even when things aren’t perfect, always have enough.” Thanks for helping to make a difference!

John, as most of us don’t always look to Monday mornings, I am always so glad to start my week by reading your encouraging and insightful words to start the week on a positive note. God bless you and all that you do!!!

I have always been touched by the Make a Wish Foundation. This message is a good reminder for me. I am so blessed to have healthy kids. Life is so precious and is a gift to be enjoyed. My life motto button is ..Share the joy of life with others….it can be as simple as a smile.. :0 )
thank you for always giving me good thoughts to start my Mon morning.

Thank you for being part of my Rising Above community and for taking the time to start Monday Morning off with a little motivation from me…here’s to a great week ahead with your kiddos! J

John, I love your energy and LOVE for life and people and most of all, God! It shows in all that you do. Your light is His light. Keep it going….you are changing lives! Bless you!

I too have been touched by Make a Wish foundation.
My niece died from cancer in 1990 at the age of 8. The summer before she died, my brother, his wife and family of 4 did just what the children on your plane did. They went to Disney world!
I picked them up from their house and drove them to the airport. That morning someone from the Make a Wish Foundation met my brother and handed him an envelope filled with money to spend on their trip. I never will forget it!
As tears run down my face this morning, I pray that I can live life to the fullest this day, because that is all I really have is right now! Please donate to Make a Wish in honor of my niece, Elizabeth!

I am honored to donate in honor of Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story, Elaine. MAW is really a beautiful organization and I’m so glad your family got to benefit from their good work. J

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