Just the other day at work, our company exec did a coffee hour where she shared her list of personal “isms.” Or rather, her 8 life rules–the ones that she always lives by. Throughout, she encouraged each one of us in attendance to find our own isms and live by them daily too.
Through her nudging, today I am starting my list. I will begin with #1, one I stole from her (because she said that we can do that).
Helping others is better than being helped. ***Never forget to teach your children this very important lesson (this part added by me)***
I have to add, with each of her isms our exec shared an anecdote that was particularly touching and wholeheartedly relateable. This ism’s story began like this:
Once upon a time, before I became a business women, I was a mom, and I was a basketball coach. I used to coach a team with several boys on it, many of them from “the other side of the tracks.” One day, one of “my boys” was acting funny. I asked him, “what’s wrong?” To which he responded, “well, you know my mom has been very sick, in the hospital, and I have been staying with my grandma and, well, we don’t have a lot of money, so I am just really hungry.”
With a little probing, I soon learned that this boy had only had one peanut butter and jelly sandwich the morning prior–it was now 8 o’clock at night following a vigorous basketball practice. I plopped him into the car and promptly took him to the nearest KFC for a much needed meal. When we were readying to leave, my own son, who was sitting in the back seat of the car, turned to me and questioned, “Mom, do you think we can get him something to eat for tomorrow too?”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, most of my greatest memories in my life have involved both service and sacrifice. When I look back on my own childhood and adolescence, what I remember most, what is most poignant, was the helping others. The Fridays I spent with an old lady named Betty Sanders, cleaning dog hair from her 100 pound German Shepard, off every crevice of her house while simultaneously listening to her stories of her blind husband who had died only a few years prior. Or the winter we surprised a boy’s family, one who was on my high school football team, with an entire Christmas since they didn’t have the money for even a tree due to his dying sister’s expensive medical bills. If I look back on these opportunities, as I see them, it was the listening that really encouraged the giving. Stopping, just as our company exec had, to notice someone, to notice their needs. I will forever be thankful to my own parents for teaching me to observe and then act. There is truth in this: you will never know the beauty of touching another life, if you only live for yourself.
stay tuned as I continue to share my isms…