For those who know me, you know this last year has been pretty eventful, and not in a good way. I have had some pretty unhappy and overwhelming moments.
As a result of that, I have recently been heavily involved in a self improvement project that has been very enlightening and has helped me not only recover from the events of the last year but to use the experience to learn more about myself and others.
This project consists of study and reflection in the areas of my life that were causing me trouble. I am convinced that one has to understand our basic goals and purposes as the spiritual beings we are in order to live long and happy lives in alignment with them.
I have noticed that one element of survival comes up over and over as it is a very basic motivation that pulls me through the time stream and into a bright and secure future.
The element, surprisingly, is not money or the urge to get it. It is not necessarily education although one must be constantly learning or one deteriorates.
The basic motivation that I, and I believe everyone has deep down, is to serve others.
It sounds somewhat counter intuitive, especially in this day and age. We are in an era of self love and affirmation and there is nothing wrong with this, However if you think self service is the key to happiness, you will be unhappy because it is only a very small part of happiness.
Happiness comes from serving, not only yourself but your family, your groups, mankind, and all of life.
And while it is important to keep the balance of exchange in and not to be taken advantage of, there is nothing quite like the feeling you have when you have helped really someone.
On this note, the other day I was in the supermarket here in Florida.
In front of me there was a woman who had a cart full of groceries and a wallet stuffed with cards of some sort. One after another, she tried them and none had any money left on them. The line got longer and longer as she tried card after card with no luck.
She then told the clerk that she was sorry and would have to come back for her groceries because she had no money. She felt bad that the clerks had to put them back on the shelves. She looked like life was defeating her.
In observing her, it was clear to me that she would not come back for two reasons. She was embarrassed and ashamed that she had held us all up and that she had no other cards or money. This was it.
She was older and I also observed that she had no idea how the cards worked. I could not stand the thought that she would go home and try to put together some meager meal if she even had any food at home at all.
I looked at the register and saw that her groceries were $19.00 so I asked her if it would be ok with her if I paid for them for her.
She said that it would be ok but that she had no idea how she could pay me back. This was a problem for her. I told her that once there was a young kid who paid for my coffee for me because I had left my wallet at home. I remember this clearly. He said “I can’t stand the idea that you can’t have a frappe today when you really want one.”
I secretly mentally thanked the kid who bought my coffee. (The coffee I was buying that day was for my son so this kid not only served me but also my son who was working doing chores for me).
I told my new lady friend that an opportunity will arise where she can do something for someone else. She was happy with that and thanked me for buying her groceries.
She packed up her groceries and went home.
I hope she had a good meal. And I hope that she felt that instead of a place of shame and embarrassment, the supermarket would seem like a friendly place where people understood her struggles.
Now I could have used that $19.00 to buy lunch out or other item for myself. But would that have give me greater satisfaction? I would have gone home and not been able to stop thinking about this lady and her empty shelves.
I could have given that money to a charity with the hopes that it was not used to buy the CEO a new car but to actually feed someone. This was much better. It was instantaneous and it was effective.
As you go through life, watch and see how many people are actively trying to help others. I have had people run from the other side of the parking lot to help me lift something heavy into my car. I felt sort of bad that I had “made them do it” but then I realized how much I loved helping people and how can I deny someone else the joy that comes from helping me?
Every day there are actions great and small that others do for the satisfaction of knowing they have helped someone.
And those who help are considered better people than those who insist on taking only.
The trick is that those who help know that this is the key to greater happiness and survival satisfaction for themselves and everyone in their environment and we are only happy when those around us are doing well.
Do beware of destruction disguised as help. Help is such an important part of life and people are so willing to support helpful things that one can be duped by evil disguised as help. When in doubt, look at the actions and the results of those actions by an individual or a group and see what they are. Do not listen to rhetoric, look with your own eyes and decide.
Go help people and, as important, let someone help you. Help should flow freely throughout our societies. We need to go back to the days when we all knew our neighbors and made sure that if they needed our help, we were there.
There are so many great people in this world. They can be eclipsed by the resounding cries of evil. This can make it seem like evil is the only thing that exists and is winning. It is not.
In this way, the good will prevail in the end.
And knowing you have been a huge part of it by helping and receiving help when needed will make you happy.
Simple. The answer has been there all along. It look a sweet lady in the supermarket to bring it home to me.
I want to take this moment to let you all know that you have helped me greatly by letting me communicate to you. Thank you!
For more information about the goals in life, checkout these online courses.