As we learn and grow interesting events occur. Others around us grow and learn. We position ourselves to help others through our newfound knowledge and skills.
One of my friends when I was ten years old received a new Monopoly game as a gift. Over the next year it sat on her shelf in the cellophane wrapper. Efforts to get her to open the new set were met with a firm, “No, I don’t want to mess it up. Look at my mother’s old set.” That year we moved, so for all I know, her Monopoly game may still be in the wrapper.
What a shame to have a gift and not use it.
How many people might have learned to play? How many hours of fun with friends lost because of saving something for good?
Right now is as good as it gets.
Life, our learning and growing, needs to get out of the box. We need to use our lives to help others learn, grow and enjoy living with us.
The scorecard of life reflects how many people we help, not how many things we have sitting on our shelves.
As Albert Schweitzer said, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”
Our life, our growing and learning, is about how to be of service to others.
When we believe in abundance versus scarcity we unwrap the board game, the gifts we have, and learn to use those gifts, not just for our own enjoyment but to be in a position to help others and enjoy the experience of life. Nobody is served in our thinking that there is not enough to go around.
Being grateful for what we have helps us learn and grow.
Gratefulness helps us see inherent possibilities in all that we appreciate. Being grateful for my food seems to help me find interesting meals to prepare so I waste very little. A potential frittata awaits the leftover broccoli.
Putting people first keeps our priorities straight in how we grow.
As the saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” If what we learn isn’t first about helping other people, we sound pompous and over-educated, further isolating us from the true experience of growing and learning in life.
Avoid objectifying people and personifying objects.
We see examples of people being objectified with the employer who knows nothing about his or her employees. It’s the people in marketing, in the warehouse, the sales clerks. The mother who is afraid a kiss from her three-year-old will smudge her make-up or clothes. The father who spends more time in front of his TV than with his family. Realize the importance of people in your life and give them priority over your relationships with things.
Give your time. Your money. Your attention. Your resources. Giving helps you grow, which is why it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Be wary, though, of those who always want more from your relationship than you are prepared to give. In the spirit of true giving, remember to not attach strings to the gifts you give. Be careful not to trip on the invisible strings that others may attach to their gifts.
Understand your higher purpose is to grow in order to help others, not just now, but for all times, because better trickles down to our children.