December 25th, 2010
05:45 PM ET

Opinion: Discover the joy of helping others

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/12/24/martinez.heroes/tzleft.martinez_j.r..jpg caption="J.R. Martinez was severely burned while serving as a soldier in Iraq at 19." width=300 height=169]

J.R. Martinez
Special to CNN

Editor's note: Jose Rene Martinez was severely burned while serving in Iraq in 2003. He is a motivational speaker and plays combat veteran Brot Monroe in ABC's "All My Children." He is also a spokesman for CNN Hero Dan Wallrath's organization, Operation Finally Home. "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" replays on CNN International on Christmas Eve at 1000, 1800 and 2300 GMT and on CNN/US on Christmas Day at 6 p.m. ET.

(CNN) - This world is a busy place with billions of people and billions of things to achieve and experience. It's easy to live a lifetime without knowing the feeling of helping others.

But can you really blame people for making a way for themselves and not others? That's the message you get from birth: "Go after your dreams and don't let anything or anyone keep you from it."

I hear people ask: "What's in it for me?" or "Why should I help you, or them?" Could it be that they were never taught the importance of helping others or know how much they could gain from it themselves?

For me it wasn't someone, but more something, that made me realize the importance of helping others. It was simply visiting a place that some have never visited before - and fighting for my life.

Read more

Filed under: CNN Heroes • Opinion
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.