Sunday, July 22, 2018

Selfless Acts Exemplify Who We Are

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." - James Keller

The other day I headed out to run some errands.  It is common practice for me to use this time listening to a variety of radio stations.  If there is any talk between the disc jockeys (are they even still called this) or commercials I quickly press the tuning button to get some real music playing.  As I fiddled around on this particular day, I couldn’t find anything in particular that piqued my listening interests. After searching and searching, I just settled on my favorite Houston station hoping that when a song began to permeate from the car speakers that it would be something I liked.

Well since it was a weekday morning, dialogue between the on-air personalities persisted.  I was about to change the station yet again out of frustration but the story they began to share caught my attention.  Firefighters and first responders were sent to the home of a Florida man who had suffered a heart attack while laying new sod down on his property.  As the man was being treated he kept carrying on about the fact that he had to finish the job as the grass would quickly dry up and die if it was not installed and watered.  

The firefighters and first responders were like “Come on dude, you just had a heart attack. Your life is more important than grass.” The man continued to carry on and eventually let it be known why he was so worried about getting the job done.  Apparently, he had recently been warned by his local Home Owners Association (HOA) to fix his grass or suffer a fine. Being that my wife and I are part of an HOA we can attest to the fact that we get stupid letters threatening fines all the time. Who knew though that HOAs could stress people out to the point where they continue to worry even after suffering a heart attack?

The firefighters and first responders were utterly dumbfounded during this ordeal but patiently worked to treat the man and desperately tried to get him into the ambulance.  All he could still think about was getting the sod installed and avoiding the fine. Eventually, the man’s wife persuaded her husband to get in the ambulance as she assured him that her brother would come over and finish the job.  The man who suffered the heart attack was finally on the way to the hospital to get real treatment.

Now comes the good part.  After getting the man to the hospital each firefighter and first responder went back to the man’s house and worked side by side with his brother-in-law until the job was done entirely. WOW!  This selfless act is not only inspirational, but it also provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our purpose in life. 

Don’t pursue perfection. Pursue growth. One area where there are continuous opportunities for growth is selflessness. Pulled from an article titled How The Power of Selflessness Can Transform Our Lives here is was what we could learn and take away from partaking in this act.
"Selflessness means we act without thought for how we will profit or be rewarded. If we give help to others but expect recognition or the favor to be returned, this is not a selfless action. True selflessness means we would do the action, even if it were never known to anyone else. Selflessness means we identify with others. Our service to others is not an act of condescending charity; our action is motivated by a feeling of oneness. We help others because we identify with their problems and their suffering. Selflessness is its own reward."
Random acts of kindness will not just make you feel good, but also those who you help out. To create a better world for our learners and ourselves, we need to begin by modeling it at the individual level. In the words of Aesop, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

Below are some more of my thoughts:

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