“God helps those who help others.” ~ Amit Abraham, Personality Development Through Positive Thinking
There I was, minding my own business, quietly driving my car to work, enjoying the bright spring morning. The road I am on is a main road through a nearby community. I see a car coming up from the side street, and notice that it is not slowing, even though they have the stop sign. I know that this person will blow through the stop sign and pay no heed to the car that has the right of way (which would be me). And, sure enough, there he went. This was clearly a case where someone does not care about the other people on the road.
There is the Zig Ziglar tenet that says, “You can get everything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want in life.” This presumes that one of the key paths to success is being willing to help others and not focus only on yourself. By helping to ensuring other’s successes, both you and the people you help have the opportunity to succeed together. Most of the successful people have not been so by themselves, but have provided success for the people they surround themselves with, including the ability to increase wealth (think of the number of millionaires created from Microsoft’s beginning). The commitment and mindset has to be REAL and part of one’s nature and values. I am amazed at the number people I observe that are in it only for themselves, such as in the following examples:
- To get home from work, I travel on the NY subway system between my office to the Port Authority. The general rule of thumb is that the people on the platform open up a path for the people exiting the subway – makes sense. This past week, as I had one foot on the subway and one off, someone elbowed their way in saying excuse me, I need to get on this subway. Where she expected me to go, I am not sure.
- When leaving a plane, or a bus, most of the people follow the basic rule of thumb – passengers exit from the front moving towards the back one row at a time. This is a very organized process. However, every so often there is that one person that jumps up from the back and elbows their way to the front. We were recently on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Newark, where we notice the actions a man and wife. By the way that they were dressed, they clearly were a religious couple. We tend to think in our minds (not to judge) that religious folks tend to have a higher standard. Guess who was the first to jump up, did not let other people in (per the order of seating) and pushed their way forward? I am not sure where his religion stresses “me first.”
I would be remiss if I only pointed out the acts of selfishness and not noticed acts of selflessness / kindness / consideration. During rush hour times, a seat on the subway can be a rare and precious commodity. On occasion, people will give up their seats (including me) for an elder person, someone that is pregnant, a child or with a disability. I sat next to a young woman that whenever someone she thought would like to sit actually got up from her seat and would walk over to that person to offer them her spot. Many times when a seat becomes vacant, it is a rush to grab it. Not in this case. Even though the response she received each time was, “No, thank you,” it was great to see that she still tried to reach out to be considerate of the those around her.