Saturday, June 23, 2018

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Giving Back …

My father once told me “you can’t look after anyone else until you first get your own house in order” - and again, I was told by author and investor Robert Kiyosaki, “you can help more people out of the back of a Mercedes than you can out of the back of your beat-up volkswagen”. I didn’t get either at the time … but I do understand a little better now.
When we are struggling to keep our own heads above water, it is indeed difficult (for me anyways) to attend to the helping of others - and even if we could, we might well not have the means to do so. Being able to get our own house in order is perhaps also a sign that our advice might well be worth listening to by others who might find themselves struggling.
Here’s the thing though - helping others ‘rise’, ‘prevail’, ‘overcome’ or ‘become better versions of themselves’ - is reward in and of itself. We are individuals, to be sure (sounding a little Irish there) - but we are people/human beings - having more in common with one another than we have perhaps, differences.
I myself have been ‘helped’ by others, given a ‘boost up’ at a time when it counted. Affording someone a little time, a kind word, some piece of advice or some other thing that helps them on their way, is a very human thing to do. The world becomes a slightly better place for being this way. And, like any other skill/character trait, we need to practise this a little … before it becomes part of who we are.
I like something my great friend Dave Meyer told me once - his original martial arts instructor (Sensei Jack Seki) told him that by studying the martial arts and combining that study with the development of good character, makes the world a slightly safer place for people to live in. I love that.

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