Abraham Lincoln once said, “Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” Is the welfare of OTHERS a concern in your life? WE were not created to live isolated, selfish lives. It is important to love yourself. It is equally important to love OTHERS more. Here are some thoughts of how to be a man built for OTHERS:
A person needs to continually feed his spirit and grow his heart. The best way to do this is to be aware of the issues and concerns of your community, your state, your nation and your world. Participate. The education of a human being never ends until he returns to the ground. Never stop learning how to become a better you.
Possibly the most difficult character trait a person can master. How to just simply listen to what another person is trying to tell you. In our world today, we have many talkers and planners. Everyone has the right idea. Nobody is listening. Nothing gets done this way. So we wind up with bad ideas and an angry populace. This is common on both sides of the aisle. Do you listen? When your wife is trying to convey a deep concern she has, do you hear her? So many conflicts, so many divorces, could so easily be avoided by the simple solution of truly listening.
The Buck Stops Here
Harry Truman’s famous words. This is a man who had to make the dreadful decision to use the only atomic weapon ever used in battle. He knew a thing or two about personal responsibility. Do you own your mistakes and failures? Are you a stand-up guy? Rarely admonished is the man who humbly admits he is to blame. Do not pass blame on failures that were of your doing. Those actions work to destroy others. The buck stops with you.
A Man Of Joy
Is your smile infectious? There are millions of products that will help you have a movie star smile. The key ingredient, however, is free to everyone. Joy. If you heart is filled with joy, it will reflect on your pearly whites and bounce right off of everyone around you. Mom always said to look on the bright side of things. Mom is never wrong. A warm smile and a pat on the back will never fail to encourage even the most downtrodden of souls.
Exploit Your Talents
We have all been blessed with certain gifts. How we choose to use them are up to us. The design is to create a harmonious world that runs like the engine of a Ferrari. If the talent of one person is negating the impact of another, then the engine fails to run at maximum potential. Use your gifts for the benefit of not only yourself but for those around you. Personal success is worth nothing on your death bed. Bill Gates is a good example here. One of the wealthiest men in all of human history. His talent changed the entire world as we know it. Now he is using those same gifts in dedication for the betterment of mankind. Discover your purpose and do your part.
The Mentor Leader
Coach Dungy’s latest book. He is quite possibly the most famous mentor in America today. His inspiration and example serve to change lives every single day. Do you give back or do you hoard the rewards of success? Coach Dungy had Peyton Manning and a strong team. Personal success and historical fame were at the taking for many more years. His heart called elsewhere. To serve his fellow man. To help lift them to the same heights he had already reached. When perhaps the most despised man in modern sports was released from prison, Coach Dungy offered a lift up. His golden reputation meant nothing if it only served to his own gain. That is a mentor. That is a leader. The real kind that God calls us to be. Heroes are men who won’t rest until the very last person is safe. Be that person.
Walking In Their Shoes
How can you condemn without understanding? “Walk a mile in my shoes” so the saying goes. Do just that. Stereotyping is considered a vile action simply because the stereotype is based on general traits and shallow surface group think. When one breaks through the stereotype he always finds a completely different picture. An entire collection of unique individuals ranging from amazing to tragic. This is true in every human situation across the globe. Make a constant effort to walk in the shoes of those different from yourself. To understand their perspective and human condition. A guy with a 9 mil pistol tucked under his shirt might seem like a wild killer in your eyes. In his mind, he’s just trying to get home from work without being assaulted. Reality is rarely what we perceive it to be outside of our experience base. Truly understanding is the first step to true healing of mankind.
No one likes to feel inferior. It is one of the worst feelings on earth. Sucking the life right out of your heart. Do you talk down to people you consider beneath you? For some people it helps quench a thirst for a feeling of power they need to have over others. The smaller they make another feel, the more of a giant they feel themselves to be. Quite sad for everyone involved. Respect is a simple action to give. It requires little effort. Yet the results are enormous. In some cases life saving. The man who is about to take his own life might reconsider. He might be saved by just one person sincerely giving him the feeling that his existence does indeed matter, No man is better than another. But for the grace of God go I.
Little hope can be had for humankind if compassion ceases to exist. All around us we are taught examples of how to be selfish, spoiled and downright mean. Some invisible force seems to be trying its best to ruin our souls. Rebel against that force. Gain a true compassion in your heart for all life. I am always amazed how a human being can watch video of war around the globe and not be affected. It’s like a blood sport to some. Never mind that limbs are being blown off. Children become orphans in a matter of seconds. Life taken without even a blink of an eye from the viewer. That is the soul of a person blackened on the inside. Wake yourself up from that dark stupor. Our hearts are meant to be filled with a deep desire for peace. When others hurt it should hurt you as well. Be an instrument for peace in even the smallest of conflicts.
Sure it’s great to get a cool present. But does it feel half as good as it does when you give? Not even close. Giving is probably the most positive of all actions. Everyone feels great. That is when you give with sincerity and humbleness. When a person knows you took the time to really think about who they are. Or when a little child of meager means is given a bag of outgrown clothes..clothes that she only dreams of having when seeing them at a mall. Faces light up. Hearts soar. Give till you can’t give another drop. Of yourself, of your possessions and to the goal of living a life built for others.