I am being challenged in how I think about giving. By giving, I mean giving my hard earned money to those in need who ask. In the past, my response has always been, “Well, I certainly can’t help everyone who is in need, therefore, I won’t help anyone.” Now as a student of servant leadership, my thinking is shifting. One major breakthrough — not everybody is asking, but for those who do — perhaps I should give greater consideration. It is a challenging situation; one that leaves a person open to be taken advantage of and hurt.
A former Dale Carnegie Master Trainer took an early retirement to serve his wife of more than 30 years who came down with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is an awful disease that that impact all aspects of life with no hope of healing, outside of a miracle granted from God. Greg has cared for his wife for five years on a small pension and a little disability and is now faced with losing his home unless he can raise about $75K in the next two weeks. Therefore, a plea has been sent out asking for financial support for Greg and his wife, Nancy.
I was sitting at a Wendy’s in Irvine, California, this past Friday. As I was eating my chicken sandwich, a middle-aged Hispanic mother approached my table. She was holding an infant girl holding a sign asking for money to feed the starving child.
A family member is struggling financially. A troubled marriage, a sick child, and mismanagement of money have all contributed to financial challenges. I learned that in moving into a new apartment he needed a few essential items.
The question is, “What does love require of me?”
In my recent past, I found reasons not to give to the above causes. This past week, I gave to all three situations and am looking for more ways to give this week. What I realized is that servant leadership as an attitude must go beyond the business board meetings, the employee encounters, and the customer engagements. Servant leadership must transcend as to who I am and who I am becoming. This is a whole new level of service which is allowing me to create and experience “joy” in ways previously unknown to me. Maybe that is what Dale Carnegie meant by genuine… still learning!
Human relations principle of the week:
“Become genuinely interested in other people.” – Dale Carnegie
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