I read Ken Blanchard and S. Truett Cathy’s book The Generosity Factor earlier this year. A couple of quotes stood out to me, including:
“A generous person quickly discovers that each new day provides new opportunities to impact the lives of others. Every day we can find countless ways–great and small–to make someone’s life better” (p.51).
“It’s one thing to think about ways to help others; it’s quite another to act…There’s a big difference between held values and operational values. Held values are what people say. Operational values are what people do” (p.60).
“One of my goals in life is to do everything possible to back my words with actions” (p.61).
One of the main characters in the book learns that he can truly make a difference in the lives of others through the correct use of his time, talent, treasure and touch (p.42). Later in the story, he is informed that his life will take on genuine significance if three things are in order: Master, Mission and Mate (p.72). The Master, of course, is God. The Mission is to glorify God and bless people. The Mate aspect stresses the importance of choosing the right spouse whose priorities align with those just described.
Though I often fail, these are my same passions! These are also the passions I deeply desire to see my five children embrace. It would grieve me to see them transition into adulthood and prove to be selfish men and women, focused solely upon their own dreams and wants.
Is there anything I can do to guard that? Yes! I can continue to teach and put them under biblical instruction. But there is something that may be even more effective: My example. Since more is caught than taught, I need to ensure that my life is repeatedly marked by a visible lack of self-centeredness. That is one of the reasons a resolution this year for me is to do at least one Good Samaritan act each month. If these opportunities do not present themselves, I need to look for them. Although I need to first bless my immediate family with my time, talent, treasure and touch, others all around me have needs as well. My held values need to be my operational values. Due to God’s amazing grace, the Master and the Mate aspects of my life are covered. Mission, however, needs to be fleshed out daily.
Do these thoughts resonate with you? Do you contemplate the purpose of your existence and the consequences of your conclusions? I hope you do! It may require you to turn off the ethic-dulling, mind-numbing computer (games, social media, streaming services) or television (dramas, reality shows, sit-coms). The time-tested tools of a pencil and a yellow pad might be required.
Who am I? Why do I exist? What difference am I making? Can I really make a difference? Can I possibly make this world a better place?
You can. So can I. And we can restart–or start for the very first time–TODAY.