I have many vivid, extremely positive, warm memories of my recently passed Father, and fortunately many of the lessons he taught me are ingrained in my character. In the spirit of the Holidays I thought I would briefly share one of the most important and impactful of these lessons.
My Dad would drop me off at Bell Middle School in Chappaqua, and as I would climb out of the car, he would give me an affectionate “good bye”, and then, the reminder: “Help someone today”. I would close the car door, the thought now in my head, and it would change my day for the better.
Try this. Tomorrow morning when you wake up, think to yourself “All day today I’m going to look for people I can help”. You will find yourself surrounded by them, and you will find yourself perhaps impractically busy. From the woman trying to open the door to Starbucks with her baby stroller, to the elderly neighbor shoveling her driveway, to the lonely store clerk who would benefit from a happy and sincere “good morning”, or the friend who suffered a loss recently for whom a quick call to say hello makes his day.
They are everywhere. Sometimes “we” are the “they” I’m referring to, and from that we realize the value of this principle my Dad taught me. I know I should do it more than I do, but I also know that because of his teaching I do it often.
Try it for a day. In addition to the people you help, I think you will find as you lay your head on the pillow that night you will realize that in a different way you did as much for yourself that day as you did for those whose lives you touched.