“It’s that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so ‘don’t fuss, dear; get on with it’.”
― Audrey Hepburn
Why is it so important that we put others first?
How do we do it without causing our own goals and ambitions to be put on the back burner?
Let’s start with my favorite book ever written, the Bible.
In first Corinthians 10:24 Paul reminds the church in Corinth about this. He tells them directly, “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others”
Have you ever played the Game Catan before?
If you haven’t I’ll give you a quick rundown. You place your village at the intersection of 3 commodities. (there are 5 total commodities on the board.) Then numbers are placed on each tile.
When anyone rolls the number on commodities that you ouch you get that commodity. You use the commodities to build and get special cards.
The goal is to build settlements, cities, roads, and eventually end the game when you have enough experience points. Which you get from the building and a few other things.
Anyways, as we were playing this yesterday my daughter (10) was in a great place and she kept getting all kinds of commodities.
She had so many a few times that the bank ran out of commodity cards. She would always trade cards in on her turn so that it didn’t happen again.
During the game, you can trade cards, but both people have to agree to the trade in order for it to happen.
As we all started trading with her he was always glad to make the deal. Even if it wasn’t always in her best interests.
I’m sure that by now you’re thinking, Dan, why are you teaching your daughter to make a deal if it doesn’t benefit her?
Get this, she always had more than enough. And was being nice not ending the game as soon as she could. She wanted to be generous so that the game would continue on, just a little longer.
She was blessed with more cards and people continued to trade with her so that she could get the cards she needed.
The more she gave the more she got.
So what are some simple ways that we can put others’ needs ahead of our own?
- It could be as simple as standing aside to let someone get in line ahead of us.
- It might be giving someone a ride even though it will make us late. (What if we’re on our way to church or work?)
- How about giving up a seat on the bus and standing?
- Perhaps this means mowing our neighbor’s lawn even though ours needs attention.
- Should we take the last piece of pizza or let someone else have it?
- What about walking so someone else can use our car?
- Even bolder, how about giving someone our car because he or she needs it more.
It may seem simple to put others first but it’s not as simple as it seems. As people, we are extremely self-centered. If we can’t see how it will benefit us we have a hard time doing it.
Why do we go to work?
To earn money so we can live.
Why do we buy vehicles?
So we can go to the places we want to go.
Why do we do anything?
Because we think that it will cause us some sort of benefit from doing it.
So why should we put others first if our every instinct is to do what benefits us the most? How can putting someone else’s needs ahead of our own make us succeed?
The example of the game is a great one, on a small scale of course. If my daughter wasn’t willing to trade cards that she had to others, she would not have gotten so many of the other commodities that she had no other way of getting without trading.
One more thing that we must remember
Just like in the airplane when they are giving instructions, “In the event of an accident, oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling. Please be sure to secure your mask first before helping others around you.
This is the key.
First off, if you are not able to help yourself how will you be able to help anyone else?
Here’s what this really means.
It’s really hard and not very smart for others to take advice on finances from someone who is not doing very good with their finances.
Think about it. Would you listen to someone on how to get out of Credit Card debt if they had piles of it themselves?
If someone is giving advice on how to grow a business, yet their current business is failing, will you listen to them?
Would you take advice on how to improve your company culture from a leader of a company when their culture is nothing like what you want?
The answers to all of the questions are,
NOT A CHANCE!
So we do have to make sure that we are on the right path before we start giving advice.
That doesn’t mean that on the way to getting on the right path we can forget about everyone else. There are still ways that we can help.
Tony Robbins says, “If you don’t like money then you have never given enough away.” I’m 100% sure that some of you just said, but he has so much money so he can give more away.
In the book of Mark Jesus talks about this too. Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
This amazing lady knew that God would continue to bless her. She trusted that he would take care of her.
Today I really want to encourage everyone to go out into the world and look for a way to help others.
Look for a person who needs you, then offer to help them.
Look for someone who you can help, then go out of your way to help them.
Get out there and start putting others first, then watch just how much further you are because you gave more than ever before.