It is a paradoxical but profoundly true that the most certain way for people to bring hope, help, meaning and joy to their own lives is by reaching out and bringing hope, help, meaning and joy to the lives of others. If you’ve already experienced this beautiful phenomenon for yourself, you are in good company.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights leader: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
Albert Einstein, physicist: “Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose we know not, though sometimes we sense it. But we know from daily life that we exist for other people first of all, for whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.”
Danny Thomas, founder, St. Jude’s Hospital: “All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”
Elbert Hubbard: “One great, strong, unselfish soul in every community could actually redeem the world.”
Robert Ingersoll, scholar: “we rise by lifting others.”
Margaret Mead, anthropologist: “I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings.”
Albert Schweitzer, humanitarian: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but this I know: the only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”
Seattle is a beautiful place, but in the 1980s I was living in a beat-up beach cabin. I had an old TV, a lumpy futon, and one of those white plastic Princess phones. I was basically broke, but my noisy old refrigerator was stuffed with fresh vegetables, eggs, fruit, beer and frozen pizza—and I had a spectacular view of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle skyline.
That year, I volunteered to host a college exchange student from Guinea-Bissau, Africa. When I picked him up at the airport, Salvatore was way to spot. He was 23, tall and regal-looking, with a huge smile and lustrous blue-black skin. He had lived his entire as a barefoot fisherman in a small native village located on a big river deep in the jungle of Guinea-Bissau—and now his village had raised the money to send him to study U.S. Fisheries on their behalf. He had travelled directly fro his African village to Seattle, and I could see he was astonished at what he saw as we drove through the beautiful city.
When we arrived at my raggedy cabin I was worried that Salvatore might be disappointed with his new accommodations. He seemed somber as I showed him the little bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, TV and telephone. What was Salvatore thinking? I decided to take him out on the little deck to try to impress him with the view. The snow-clad mountains were spread out against the sky that day, and one of Seattle’s majestic white ferries was gliding across the sparkling waters of Puget Sound. We stood there silently for awhile, and then Salvatore turned to me with his brow deeply knit in thought.
“You are king?” He asked. “No,” I laughed, “I’m just an everyday person like you.” Salvatore was silent for a moment, and he turned again and said quite clearly and emphatically, “you are a king.” And it suddenly dawned on me that he was right. All these years I had been a king and not known it. -Scott Sabol, Ph.D.
You are Royalty
If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep… you are richer than 75% of the worlds population.
If you have little money in the bank or spare change in a dish someplace you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.
If you can drink from you kitchen faucet whenever you want… you are more fortunate by far than 1.5 billion people who have no access to clean water.
If you attend church or a political rally without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death… you have the kind of freedom denied to more than three billion people in the world.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than two billion people who cannot read at all.
If your everyday problems are weighing you down, there are millions of people on Earth who would gladly trade places with you right now—problems and all—and feel they have been royally blessed.
Remember: “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.”