Humanity is one of my core values.
My uncle told me to “celebrate when happy, cry when sad and help when help is needed” and I have tried to live up to that all my life. Being compassionate towards other people is a wonderful thing. We do not look for rewards here, but people love you for it.
Candidness is another of my values. I feel I have nothing to lose by being candid, and I am.
Especially when it is positive, by being candid with people we leave them feeling that we care. They might forget what we said, but the feeling will remain with them forever.
My life has taught me that to practice being compassionate and candid one has to be engaged – and engagement is my third core value.
We all have to bear with people in all walks of lives that are not engaged. Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, I had an uncle who was very engaged with my upbringing. Because of the archaic laws of those years he could not adopt me, but he had spent every available minute ensuring I grew up with moral standards and respect for both, myself and all others. Time he spent with me in my formative years was the time really spent with me, he was not side-tracked by a cellphone, computers or the adrenalin of the speed we travel at today. He was there for me. I had no idea I was learning a valuable core value, nor did he have any idea he was teaching me that, not at all. It just happened. I grew up being totally engaged in what I did.
Being engaged has given me a running start at all I have attempted. In some of these things I failed and in a fair share of them I have been successful; but I certainly would have failed everything if engagement was not a part of my conditioning and DNA. Why is engagement so important in 2017 and the years beyond?
I believe it is engaged people that will lead us to wherever we are going, and I know of no one who will follow a disengaged leader. Most people will lead a group of some sort at some stage in their lives; or maybe you were part of a group in the past. Now, think about it: how will you handle the disengaged people in the group, or how did you handle the disengaged people that were in your group?
No more than 30 years ago, it was normal for people to write a phone number down and remember it. No more than 30 years ago, it was common practice to write someone a note, which was received and acted upon, and no more than 30 years ago, it was common to receive a birthday or Christmas card at the appropriate time and acknowledge its arrival.
What happened? Did the system of phone numbers change to the point that it is far too difficult to remember? Have we found new and better ways to let someone know about something and have birthdays and Christmas been cancelled as important events?
No, I believe people have just accepted disengagement as a way of life. As a senior member of the global community and someone who thinks about the old days, I feel it is time to invite people to re-learn some of the things that made us the great civilization we are.
It is engagement that has brought us this wonderful world. And still, we spend an enormous amount of time – and have done since our beginnings – to condition others to do what we want them to do, to behave in a way we want them to behave, and even to like the same things we do. We have been very successful at this, at the expense of humanity, yet, all of a sudden, we accept disengagement.
I can look back on my roller coaster life and I am totally happy with the way it has turned out: I have been rewarded with family and friends by choice who love me and I feel I have made a difference in some small way to those I have shared my life with. I will close by sharing my three life core values again: Humanity, Candidness and Engagement. What are yours?