Personal experiences make us what we are... good ones, bad ones, traumatic ones... they are all experiences that enrich our lives and take us on a journey. This is the journey that we call life. For most of us, we have choices, we can decide whether to turn left or to turn right, to go forward or to remain locked in the past.
If we ever think we have it bad, there is always someone who is having it a whole lot worse. Opportunity, is for me the greatest gift of all. Money is great but it has no worth if it isn't doing something useful.
On trend at the moment are buzz phrases such as 'Pay it forward', 'Giving back' and 'Being a philanthropist'. But what does it all mean? Pay it forward means to give or to do something that has no immediate reward and one day perhaps that good will gesture will come back in a positive way. Giving back is our way of doing something worth while because we feel we are in a privileged position and want to do something for someone less fortunate. And a philanthropist is someone who wishes to raise awareness to a charity and donate funds to that cause.
Many of us develop a personal relationship with a charity, which could be influenced by something that has happened either to yourself or a loved one or because you are driven by the need to make a little difference.
As an Ambassador to The Odysseus Foundation, I play a small part by raising awareness and supporting the Founder, Justen Schafer, who has dedicated so much time, energy and passion into helping others. Cancer affects so many people and Justen gives a voice to those who cannot speak.
Technology is a wonderful thing and with the help of Skype Justen talks to me about The Odysseus Foundation, the challenges and the goals. And to quote Justen: "I want to leave the world in a better place than when I arrived..." Click to see Interview.
A recent event in Monaco introduced me to the charity Outward Bound Monaco. The organisation helps youngsters between the ages of 13 and 18 to seize opportunities and say 'I can'.
Those on the Riviera will know Julie Hellon Cupples. We interviewed Julie back in 2011 when her passion to be a part of Kenyan Kids organisation became a huge part of her life. See the Interview with Julie Hellon.
The ball is always in your court... go on make a difference. You know you want to... and you can! You don't always need to help those far away. Take a moment to look around you, there may be someone closer to home that needs just a little support. It starts with being able to 'listen'!
Talk to us because we'll talk about you. It's what women do... and then you'll talk about us.
Brigitte Rupp is the Financial Bodyguard. In an era when it is essential to take care of your finances and future, it is important also to have the best advice. Brigitte will explain what is on offer for you to build a better future for yourself, so you can concentrate on what matters today.
Grisel Damgaard is the Director of Carfax-Education Monaco. The organisation arranges language courses on a one-to-one basis helping you to confidently communicate in your chosen language. Carfax will help with a smooth introduction into the local French education system for your children.
It is a pleasure to work with Victoria James, Animal Behaviourist & Trainer. Her approach is ethical and the welfare of the pets she works with, paramount. As she says, 'A trained dog is a happy dog'.
Thank you to Celina Lafuente de Lavotha for her photographs and articles on The Riviera Woman.
I hope you will enjoy reading all our features and articles. New articles will always appear on the homepage or in the sections on the left hand side of The Riviera Woman. If you would like to contribute to The Riviera Woman, you will be very welcome. We share all our features and articles on my Facebook Pages - feel free to add your comments. If you haven't already done so... please 'Like' The Riviera Woman, because I really like you.
I look forward to hearing from you with all your news, views and updates.
ANNA FILL - Editor