You know the sayings…
“True happiness starts when you put yourself first….”
“If you don’t put yourself first, nobody else will…”
We’ve become accustomed to making sure our needs and wants are always met. Happiness is a priority.
We will do almost anything to make sure we live a comfortable life.
But who wouldn’t, right?
But what happens when someone else’s problems are bigger than our own?
Shifting Your Focus
There are people in this world facing many problems.
Even when someone wears a smile on their face, you never know what they are dealing with on the inside.
I remember one day at work, my coworker didn’t hold the door for me as I was coming inside behind her.
I was so offended!
I thought to myself, “Who does she think she is letting the door almost slam in my face? I know she saw me coming in behind her. How could she be so rude?”
Later on in the week, I was explaining the “door” incident with another co-worker, and I couldn’t believe what she told to me.
The woman I was complaining about had a son who was very sick in the hospital. She didn’t know when he would be coming home.
I felt like a fool…
I can’t even imagine how I would feel if my child was in the hospital. I have no idea what I would do.
That’s when I figured she didn’t hold the door for me because she probably never even noticed I was behind her. She was at work physically, but I’m sure mentally, she was in another world.
I was so concerned with how she made me feel that I never once thought about what she may have gone through.
I made an issue out of something fairly small.
Taking someone else into consideration isn’t always easy, especially when it has nothing to do with us.
But when we begin to shift our focus, we start to see our own problems in a different light.
Someone Has It Worse Than You
I remember the joy I felt when I gave a homeless person on the train $10.
Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. You would’ve thought I gave him $100.
25⊄ or even $1 was normal.
But $10? Unthinkable!
You wouldn’t believe the look on this man’s face when I gave him the money.
It was priceless…
He was in disbelief. He smiled and began thanking me over and over.
I couldn’t believe that $10 made someone this happy.
The people on the train didn’t understand. They probably thought I was stupid.
But if I compared my situation to this homeless man’s, I was extremely fortunate.
In reality, what was $10 to me anyway? I knew giving it wasn’t going to put a dent in my pocket whatsoever.
I had a place to sleep every night. I had money in my pocket. I knew where my next meal was coming from. But I can’t say the same for this man.
So if coming out of my pocket a few extra dollars made this much of an impact on someone else’s life, I would do it again. Next time, I will give even more.
It’s a blessing knowing that you’ve touched someone. You may think it’s small, but it will mean the world to someone who really needs it.
Giving is a Blessing in Itself
I love the feeling I get when I give to others. Since I’m so blessed, I believe it’s my duty to share my blessings with those who need it.
I was having breakfast with my husband one day, and the waitress brought over the bill at the end of our meal.
The bill only came up to $20 or so, and my husband slipped another $20 dollar bill in as her tip.
When she realized that she had an extra $20 with the bill, she came back to our table and told him he gave her too much money. My husband told her that it wasn’t a mistake, it was her tip.
She had a confused look on her face.
She asked him, “Are you sure? Nobody has ever tipped me so much.”
She couldn’t believe that someone thought of her that much. She said she was barely making it as a waitress and was very grateful for the tip.
That $20 was more than just money to her. It made her realize that some people really do care.
My husband was the talk of Waffle House that day, and all over just $20. The next time we went, our waitress made sure she gave us special attention. And I believe she did it from a grateful heart, and not because she was expecting another large tip.
When we put others first our blessings always increase. We’ve all heard the saying “What goes around, comes around.”
When love and generosity “go around,” we change the lives of the people who need our help the most.
The Joy In Putting Others First
Giving wasn’t always easy for me. At one point, I was more concerned with what I could get and not what I could give.
I’ve changed the way I think.
And even though I don’t always give away money, time and love are just as important.
Imagine knowing you put a smile on a child’s face because you decided to give toys to children with cancer in the hospital.
Imagine knowing how blessed you made a homeless person feel because you volunteered to serve food to them at the shelter.
Imagine helping someone pay the gas bill they couldn’t afford. Now their kids will have the heat during the winter.
Take the time out to bless someone today, and every day going forward.
Even if you don’t feel the joy right away, just remember that you touched someone’s life. Memories last a lifetime.