We come upon the season of giving. Why does lifting others have to be just a “seasonal thing?”
Lincoln argued that the best way to destroy your enemies is to make them friends. Is that truly a way to lift others? It is a way to neutralize the competition. Perhaps Congress should try it.
The strongest and most secure people I have met in my life were those who found a way to lift others up, be it their employees, their family, their customers… and even their enemies.
I believe that these same saints in life are “selfish saints,” because they reach down to help others because it literally warms their hearts. I learned that from my spouse Christine, who is the most giving and loving person I have ever encountered in my life.
Words are powerful. What does one gain from putting someone down instead of finding something good to say? What if politicians could find issues on which they can agree instead of insisting that everything be their way?
When observing the results of the Virginia gubernatorial election one cannot help but note the difference in the attitude of the two candidates. One was negative and he lost, due at least in part to the undesirable and adverse way he campaigned. Yes, Santa Clause, there is a Virginia!
When women, minorities and others reach out to fellow colleagues to cheer them on, this is another form of lifting others up with the blessings with which they have been so empowered themselves. The old saying “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” It especially lights a darkened soul.
When we are climbing the ladder to our own success and empowering others along the way, this is a form of giving that can, not only allow you to survive, but other beneficiaries of your good will to thrive!
Theodore Roosevelt observed: “Believe you can, and you are halfway there.” Lifting others is the best way to believe in yourself. Do not let other’s views drag you down to their level of abyss. Do not let them destroy your dreams. You control only one half of a relationship- yours!
My neighbor Chad Ansbaugh is a basketball coach in St. Cloud, Florida. His daughter is on a college team that recently got their clocks cleaned rather soundly. Instead of pouting about the devastating loss, she elected to clean up the basketball court, wipe the chairs and benches, all without being asked to do so. Her father taught her that. Even in losing, she did it with dignity.
The world is full of critics; we do not need any more. Thank you, but we have an ample supply, 99% of which are self-appointed. Instead of lifting others up, they choose to “size them up” and proceed to criticize them relentlessly.
Lincoln observed “You do not strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.”
We occupy this landscape for such a brief time. I can see age 80 from where I stand. Trust me, our residency on planet earth is but a speck on the backdrop of time. We should make the most of this ever-so-brief stay.
Those of us who subscribe to the “manufacturer’s handbook” (The Bible), can find all the inspiration we need. “Two are always better than one… for if they fall, one will lift up the other.” Ecclesiastes (4:9-10).
In (1 Thessalonians 5-11) it states: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
The 23rd Psalm advises us: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Michael Aun, CSP ®, CPAE ® Hall of Fame Speaker is the co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” (Living the Catholic Faith)