Gary M. Spolansky, MBA/RMT
To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world -
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We've all met people whose special talents or abilities we wish to emulate. These are often people who in one way or another seem to stand out among the crowd. Indeed, their skills and accomplishments may be worthy of such celebrity but why hold them out as people who are more capable or worthy than ourselves? Why do our own accomplishments, though perhaps not as colorful or exciting, get lost when we look at these people who are considered to be larger than life.
Every day, we're faced with various challenges from the simple to the complex. However, what's simple for one may be complex for another and these challenges are rarely on equal footing.
Just because one person can succeed at a complex task doesn't take away from the success of another who can't perform on that level but who's actions are equally beneficial. For example, although a professional athlete can make a play that wins the game for their team and potentially effect the many thousands of people watching, is that action anymore important or worthy of acknowledgment than a father who has a catch with his son and helps him feel he is the most important boy in the world? What about a mother whose dedication to her child's education helps her daughter overcome learning disabilities that if ignored would have stymied her for life.
We all have talents and abilities that don't necessarily make us stand out in a crowd - but within our circle of our friends, families and co-workers, make impressions that help other's learn and grow. In someways these impressions and the benefits they bring can have an even more profound effect on those close to us, than the contributions of those whom we hold above us.
Can we really say that the discovery of a new drug to cure an illness is anymore powerful than the words uttered in compassion to one whose dreams and desires have been shattered?
In a simple act of compassion one person can literally raise another from the depths of despair that until then seemed insurmountable. An action that effects many is no different than one that affects a few. Each has significant merit in its own right and should be recognized and applauded for its grandness - regardless of the scale.
As another example, how can anyone say that a great world leader had a bigger impact than one whose willingness to serve helped to create the platform from which the great leader guides the populace? Public acclaim often obscures the efforts of those who shy away from the limelight or selflessly sacrifice personal acclaim, success or happiness to wholeheartedly serve the success or happiness of another.
The true measure of a societies value is not what has been accomplished by the few,
but the contributions of all its peoples.
Each of us, from the most celebrated to the least revered has in some way touched the heart of another on a very deep level difficult as it may be to consider. Don't forget, every son and every daughter who has ever lived has had a mother.
Consider your own life. Think back to a time when through your actions you accomplished a goal that had that kind of impact. Perhaps as a teacher who helped children learn a simple lesson in arithmetic laying a foundation that helped that child achieve her dreams. Or perhaps you are a parent whose acts of love and compassion helped your child experience true joy in their own unique and creative talents. Or perhaps you are someone who in a casual moment saw the plight of another and reached out a helping hand that restored that person's faith in humanity and their own ability. These types of actions rarely if ever get into the Newspapers or make the evening news, but they are of significant consequence to those who experienced them.
What about even more mundane events. Completing a crossword puzzle, finding your way to a new destination when you thought you couldn't do it. Listening to your intuition which told you that the product you were searching for would be in one store and not another. Sharing a story or joke with a friend and enjoying their laughter. Doing more in your workout than you thought possible. Organizing a cabinet or draw. Gaining a new insight to an old problem, fear or situation that opened the door to a new way of seeing the world.
These are just a few examples of everyday events that when acknowledged, can help to build a sense of compassion for yourself and your own true worth. Remember, we are all beings of love, light and compassion. Each of us has expressed that love and compassion to others in many ways and on many occasions, most times however, without consciously acknowledging what we have done or the value given.
This is mankind's greatest inhumanity. Not the inhumanity we show each other through verbal or physical abuse - but the inhumanity we show to ourselves. If we can't take the time to acknowledge ourselves for the positive things we do, how can we find it in ourselves to honor the positive things others do without eventually feeling envious or jealous. By not honoring ourselves while placing others on a pedestal supports creation of our fears and becomes the source of our feelings of dis-empowerment.
"It is lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others. If we make friends with ourselves, then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others."-
His Holiness Dali Llama
If we each were to take a moments reflection at the end of a day and consider all the positive things we did in the course of a day, acknowledge ourselves for our efforts and recognize the good in us, it would cause a significant shifting of the way we all interact with each other. It would virtually end the feelings of I can't do it, I'm not good enough, smart enough or capable enough.
It would help each of us to reclaim our own uniqueness and gifts. To awaken to the realization that no one can really do what we can do in the way we can do it. No one else can ever be as good at being us as we can.
Regardless of the adulation, recognition, and acclaim that those who stand in the public spotlight receive - it is in no way as significant and substantial as the strength an support we give to ourselves by acknowledging who we are and the good we do.
Each time you have a positive experience, receive a compliment, finish a project, bring joy to another, show another any form of true compassion or just feel good - take a moment to acknowledge and congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished and watch your world change.
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