If you only think about yourself- how much money can I make, what can I buy, how nice is my house, what kind of fancy car do I have? – over the long term, I think you get bored. I think your life becomes diminished. The way to live a full life is to think: What can I do for others?
All human beings, regardless of race, ethnicity, colour, creed, gender, social status, or geographical location are one. We share common aspirations such as the need for food, air, water and shelter.
We all need to feel safe, go about our daily activities and work towards a life of happiness, joy and satisfaction. We are on this journey together. Everyone needs the support of another.
“No man is an island”, men of old have said. We cannot live our lives like the wild animals that live in the jungle preying on each other.
Everyone that has reached their highest potential in life and achieved phenomenal success received help from so many people on their success journey. Indeed, without the help of people, you would not get anywhere in life.
When you were born, your parents took great care of everything you needed for survival. They were your first teachers and health care providers.
You were taught by so many people in formal settings and through your interactions with so many other people. You received knowledge and skills training that enabled you to render service and make a decent living.
I do not subscribe to the view that one must live their life for themselves and only those close to them. On the contrary, we must live for others. You must contribute meaningfully to the lives of others. This will unite the world and keep our wholeness sacrosanct.
From personal experience, I know some people can be ungrateful. You can do good and help them in every way possible, they will forget the good you did for them once they get well established in life. Such acts of ingratitude is common place.
But you and I know only the stupid ones can repay evil for acts of kindness and compassion. If you’re in a privileged position to help someone, go ahead and do so.
Even if such people fail to reciprocate, your reward will come in diverse and unexpected ways. Nothing goes out void. What you sow, you reap.
Do not with-hold help to the one who needs it. If you do that, it will come back to you when you least expect it. Watch it if you have an unforgiving spirit, your children or those who occupy a place your heart will not be forgiven for the wrong things they do.
So what are the benefits of living your life for others?
First, understand that living life for others doesn’t mean neglecting your own needs and interests. What it does mean is that you’re like a candle light to those in darkness. It simply means, live well and help others live well. It means being a solution to someone else’s problem.
Living your life for others does not diminish yours, on the contrary, it enriches yours. It benefits both the giver and the recipient. You feel happy when you help someone, that someone feels happy to have received help from you.
When you dedicate your life to helping others, you feel a sense of true success and fulfillment. There are so many people who are rich and wealthy, but beneath their apparent opulence is a life of emptiness. They forget that God blessed them, so they can bless others. Use your wealth to support those who living on the fringes of society. Help the marginalized and the down-trodden in your community.
Again one does not need to be necessarily rich to extend help to others. Sometimes, a smile can make someone’s day. Calling to check on someone can make them feel loved and remembered.
When you help people improve the quality of their life, you will be seen as their hero and role model. It will affect people for eternity.
Sometimes it surprises me when rich people organize a party and only their rich counterparts attend. This is like trading. You invite your fellow richman because tomorrow when they organize their own, you will be invited. Let’s change this narrative, invite or do good to the one who cannot repay you. That will be more noble and true success.
Let your riches and wealth benefit others. The rich can undertake charitable and philanthropic activities that touch the lives of others in a positive way.
When you live for others, you build long-lasting relationships, open more doors of opportunities and bring lasting happiness. Even when you are dead and gone, they will remember you for the useful contributions you made to their lives. This is also the reason people are honoured post-humously.
Living your life for others can ward off boredom, loneliness, worry, anxiety and depression. It can contribute to your general well-being.
We all need help from others from time to time. For instance, a rich man may not have the time to sweep his compound, mow his lawns, feed his livestock and wash his car. This service must come from the poor man. Thus we must be each other’s keeper.
To conclude my thoughts on living for others, here is a profound quote from Pope Francis that says it all: “Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature.
We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is, life is good when you’re happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.”
Writer : Abundant Robert K. AWOLUGUTU.