If we keep our minds open, everything that happens in our lives teaches us valuable life lessons. Great things, bad things, mediocre things – each has its own type of life lesson to teach.
I’ve Learned is a life lesson series born from little scraps of paper I have scribbled on and collected over the year. In each post, the main lesson is discussed with real life examples from my personal life.
The series kicks off here with Lesson 1. It’s an important life lesson to learn. If everyone tried to #BeTheGood, so many other painful lessons would not be needed.
Lesson 1: I’ve learned to be the good I want to see in the world. #BeTheGood
Seeing The Wrong
As much as I try to be a good and positive person, I cannot help but admit that I have some character flaws. I love to rant, to give advice and to point out mistakes. Well, really the last one is more of an obsession/compulsion rather than something I love.
Ask anyone that knows me well, I tend to be too vocal about the wrongs I see around me. I’m the crazy guy sitting near you at a conference or seminar. When the speaker mispronounces a word, I’m the one that has to say it correctly outline.
You know me. You will likely turn and give me a disapproving. On the inside, though, you are applauding me internally because you also caught the mistake.
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Set The Example
Life has taught me that the best way to affect real change in the world around me is to set the example. Telling someone to do something can be effective. Showing them how to do it makes it more likely they will later do it themselves.
Many Christians will regard this as the Golden Rule, and surely it does match Jesus’ life lesson words found in the Bible at Matthew 7:12 –
“All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them.”
What would the world look like if everyone applied this one simple rule? I mean really applied. There would be no political parties tearing each other apart. Race would never be an issue. Mass shootings and terrorism would not exist.
I can’t help but think that if this one simple rule were followed, the world would be a very different place.
Look through the news headlines on any given day. Imagine how the stories would have changed if this was applied by all.
Hearing and Doing
We hear the Golden Rule repeated often. Sometimes we are sitting attentively on Sunday morning while the Bible is read. At other times, the message is conveyed in popular films like Pay It Forward or the Love Comes Softly series or shows like When Calls the Heart. (All three are excellent if you haven’t seen them already. I especially like When Calls the Heart.)
How, though, can you and I really apply this concept?
One way to apply this life lesson is to look for ways to help others.
Are you walking in or out of a store or business? If others are nearby, take a moment and hold the door for them.
Do you see the older woman loading her car with groceries? Offer to return her shopping cart for her.
Do you have a friend suffering a need but unwilling to ask for help? Give some help anyway.
Creating positive change in the world is about action and not intention. Yes, it is important to make sure we are not doing bad things or making the lives of other worse. Equally important, though, is to make sure we are actively seeking ways to make the world a better place.
Start Where You Are
Look around the area you are right now, whether at home or in public somewhere. Is there something on the floor or ground that needs to be picked up and thrown away? Is there someone nearby that is having a bad day and needs a smile or a hug? (It’s probably not a good idea to go around hugging strangers, but you get the general idea.)
At home, is there something that needs to be done, like taking out the garbage, washing the dishes or doing some laundry? Even if it is not something that it your responsibility, #BeTheGood and do something to help out.
One of the things that had made my dear wife the most happy was when she came home after a long day and found I had surprised her by making dinner or finishing the laundry. Those gifts meant more to her than any jewelry, flowers or chocolate ever did.
Of course, none of us can force others to change. Any attempt at change will only be temporary if it is not in the individual’s heart. So, I challenge each of you as I challenge myself, #BeTheGood you want to see in the world. Do something today to make someone’s life better or easier.
Wouldn’t it be great if #BeTheGood were the biggest trending hashtag of the year? And wouldn’t it be even better if that was because people were not only using the hashtag, but more importantly, were creating change in the world by the good they are doing? After you have done your good for today, come back and leave a comment of your experience to encourage the rest of us to also #BeTheGood.
Until next time…
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