Don’t Wait to be a Hero
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” ~Winston Churchill
When I was 14, our house was struck by lightning. I grew up in a mobile home in the small town of Sanger, TX. Within 15 minutes, our house burned completely to the ground. We lost everything, but we didn’t really have much to begin with. As a 14-year old, I wasn’t that upset by the loss, I was mostly fascinated by the fire and the aftermath. For a week I stayed with one of my best friends and The Salvation Army, and a number of other charities and individuals, jumped in to help us get back on our feet. It was amazing to see the outpouring of love. The kindness shown to me and our family during this tragic times has shaped the person I am today. I see the power of small acts of kindness and how helping others is really the best way to help myself.
Get in the Game. Save the Shoes.
Volunteer firefighter Mark Bezos tells a story of an act of heroism that didn’t go quite as expected — but that taught him a big lesson: Don’t wait to be a hero.
“I would offer this reminder, don’t wait, don’t wait to make your first million to make a difference in someone’s life. If you have something to give, give it now…” – Mark Bezos
Ways to Give Back and Help Others
nptrust.org, “Americans gave $449.64 billion in 2019. This reflects a 5.1% increase from 2018.“
Does money buy happiness? According to an article by Harvard Business School money can buy happiness, “as long as you are spending that money on someone else.” The article continues with some interesting information about how small amounts of giving can still lead to increased happiness.
Q: “What are the psychological factors involved when it comes to individuals and feelings they encounter when giving away their money? Does it matter how wealthy you are?”
A: “We found that it was the relative percentage of their money that people spend on others—rather than the absolute amount—that predicted their happiness. In the bonus study described above, for example, the size of the bonus that people received had no impact on their long-term happiness. It was the percentage of that bonus they spent on others that increased their well-being. In another study, we showed that spending as little as $5 over the course of a day on another person led to demonstrable increases in happiness. In other words, people needn’t be wealthy and donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity to experience the benefits of prosocial spending; small changes—a few dollars reallocated from oneself to another—can make a difference.”
When I worked at Boeing, there was a man who was in his late sixties that sat next to me. He always had a saying, “money can’t buy happiness, but it can sure rent it for a while.” This line always cracked me up, but there is a bit of truth in it. Happiness is fleeting and is often the result of external experiences. Joy is internal and is something that comes from within. Being kind to others is the true path to cultivating love for ourselves.
“In Tolstoy’s story “What Men Live By,” a very poor shoemaker is going back home at the end of the day, his mind full of worry about how to support his family. On his way, in the middle of a snowstorm, he finds a naked man, alone in the night, and dying of cold. At first the shoemaker does not want to know, and moves on. Then he changes his mind, comes back, offers him his coat, and takes him to his home. His wife is hostile at first; then she, too, takes care of the man, whose name is Mikhail, and gives him hot soup. He stays on, always mysterious, always shy, and works for the shoemaker. Years go by, and one day, husband and wife hear his full story. Mikhail is a fallen angel, who was sent to earth by God to learn what men live by. He tells of how at first humans looked ugly and frightful to him. But everything changed the moment they did something kind: Then they became radiant and beautiful. At the end he has learned the lesson and is ready to go back: Love and solidarity are what humans live by, what we are best and happiest at.” The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life, Pierro Ferrucci
My Teacher. My Hero.
When I was in 6th grade I had a teacher named Mr. Terrell. He was one of those magical teachers that balanced learning and fun very well. But more than that, he had a way of talking to each of us, his students, as if we were important and valuable. The 6th grade was a time in my life when I was finding my identity. It is an age where young children are starting to transition into young adults. My identity was being shaped and he was very kind to me. I remember there was a time that I was being bullied and he stood up for me. His simple act of kindness made him my hero. To this day, I still respect and admire Mr. Terrell for the way he treated me and all of his students.
Become a Teacher. Change Lives.
If you are passionate about impacting the world around you there are few places where you can influence the future as much as a teacher. Teachers have the ability to build students up and set them on a positive course that can have a ripple effect for future generations.
If you are interested in becoming a teacher, check out our online teacher certification process and you could be teaching in a matter of weeks.