“Help yourself by helping others”

Sir John Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

Select with care the area of your livelihood and make certain you love what you do. When you love your work and hold the attitude that what you do may be done on behalf of others, your life and your work can take on special meaning and deep significance. As one who gives joyously and thankfully; as one who is ever ready to assist another, you may be much more likely to be successful than the person who works simply to earn a living.

The more one works and plants, the more one can harvest. The more good one can do, the more success one can achieve. Lou Rawls, the actor and singer, talked about loving his work. He said, “Singing has been my life, and I love to sing. Sure, I get paid for singing, and I wouldn’t put that down. But when I put all that is in me into a song, and those who listen let me know we’re together, that’s really living. I would suggest to anyone that if you don’t love what you’re doing, find something you love to do and do it—especially if it makes you feel that you and other people are together. That’s been my life, and I thank God for it.” Why is it that by giving ourself to others in loving service, we may bring a sense of integration into our life that nothing in all our knowledge and techniques for living ever seems to bring? Why do we find inner wholeness and well-being from acts of assistance and love? Good questions!

Service to others is a creative process that releases energy which can manifest itself in many ways and bring deeper meaning into your life. When we love deeply enough, coupled with the desire to be helpful to those around us and to our world, we often find fulfillment and true closeness with others that can satisfy our desire to reach the heart of them. On the other hand, when we do not love enough to enter into this wholesome, freeing union with others, we may try to solve our basic problem of separation by seeking power over others. We may tend to live by comparison, by being overly competitive, or by feeling better or more important than others. And these attitudes do not move us toward our goals of unity, love, and helpfulness.

When we “give ourself away” our life often has greater meaning, and we may find an expanding joy in what is accomplished. Certainly, the results of our efforts often seem to be more long lasting!

In Acts 3:6, the apostle Peter is speaking to a lame man. He said, “I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have. . . .” Reflection on these words can teach us to be sensitive to the needs of the people around us. May we desire to give what is ours to give, trusting that whatever we give can be a real blessing.

I can give of my time.
I can give my love, support, and understanding.
I can give of patience and compassion.
I can share the gift of joy and laughter.
I can offer encouragement and companionship.
Perhaps, most importantly, I can give my prayers and see the Spirit of God supplying the needed comfort—uplifting, upholding, and sustaining.

We can give our assistance cheerfully, abundantly, and from a heart overflowing with God’s love.

Perhaps reading the Parable of the Talents, found in Matthew 25:14-29, can help us become aware that God gives talents to each of us. And God may hand those talents out in uneven measure. But, although God may have given more talents to one person than another, everyone is expected to use those they have to the utmost, no matter how great or meager they might be, and to use them in the service of others. The point is simply this: God is responsible for what inborn talents you possess. From there on, the responsibility is yours. It is up to you to develop them as far and as deeply as they may go. And the people who use their talents completely—and most of all to help and love others less fortunate—will be rewarded and find success.

Success takes many forms; wealth and fame are only one kind of success. Perhaps you have a talent to help those who seem to have no talent. Every act of helping is a way of saying “Yes!” to life.