My wife a while back visited a family member and had an interesting story to tell me when she returned. This family member lived in Philadelphia just a few blocks away from Temple University. Her neighbor was sick and unable to fully care of himself. The entire neighborhood got together and decided they would each take turns making the neighbor meals. They would not only make meals for the neighbor they would take them over, spend some time with him and make sure he was well-kept after and in good spirits. So they came up with a schedule and one by one three days times per day and seven days per week they took turns looking after their neighbor.
How remarkable is this, an entire neighborhood of twenty or more people banding together for the best interests of one. They all seemed to understand that one day it could very well be them in need of a good neighbor or two. For them their neighbor did not represent just one person; in essence he represented all of them. Through their giving and caring they set a character for their neighborhood-one where its members were a self-reliant coalition-truly a neighborhood and a community. They did not turn to the government or any public assistance; they turned to each other. You see power is within the people, it is within you and me. These united neighbors used the power of kindness and care to make a difference.
True power is not in what we take but in what we give, in what build, in the difference that we make in ourselves, others and the world around us. Imagine the cost in paying twenty people to care for you, to cook for you and actually come to spend their hard earned free time with you. These people are not receiving a paycheck, the currency being exchanged here is kindness and they willingly give it. They understand that the kindness they give would come back to them many times over but most importantly they did it because morally for them it simply was the right thing to do. You cannot pay someone to actually care, to extend warmth, kindness, patience and joy to you. Simply put you cannot buy this type of care the costs are astronomical monetarily speaking, but easily affordable through a few acts of kindness
In our world today we mistakenly believe that true power is in money and how much you have. True power is within us through the difference we make within ourselves, others and the world around us. This difference is based on the currencies that we use. Money is a means of exchange and what others call a grand amplifier. It allows us to exchange for some of the things we desire and it amplifies in part who we are through what we do with it. But currencies are what we must use to pay our way through life. Money has no soul, no character and no heart we cannot use it in place of currencies like kindness and care.
Currencies like kindness, care, dedication, passion, persistence, work ethic, volunteering, appreciation, time can and will pay your way through life. They may be what you use to acquire money and money will allow you to amplify your efforts when it comes to these currencies. With money you can show more care because you can give more time to what matters most to you. However if you skip using these currencies and use money in their place that is when we see the world as it is today, lacking humanity.
I will end with this. Michael Jordan the greatest basketball player of all time gave quite a memorable Hall of Fame inductee speak a few years back. He said to the owner of the bulls, Jerry it wasn’t the organization that was out there with the flu half dead helping the team to win it was me making that sacrifice. Michael Jordan felt the owner of the Bulls always believed the organization meant more than the efforts of one person. He did not realize that Michael Jordan was not in it just for the money, it did not push him to be the best to overcome at times immeasurable obstacles when he scarified his personal life and health to be a champion. After all those years beyond all the millions of dollars spent, Jordan just wanted the owner to appreciate the sacrifices he personally took it upon himself to make in order to lead the team to victory.
Can you see how powerful it would be just to show someone that you appreciate them?