A colleague of mine recently tragically passed away, and while I didn’t really know him that well except as a teacher, he definitely gave me one of those “A-ha!” moments in my life and put me onto a different path. He was also one of those remarkable human beings that just brought real value to everyone and everything that he did. His passing was very sad to my community and the world in general as was obvious from the amount of people who mourned his passing. Then recently I have had other examples of people in my world who bring very little value to anyone except for themselves because they don’t care to. Totally self focused, narcissistic; “look at me!” type of behaviour that I know deep down has some rooted issues and is just the result of past circumstances. Almost an example of yin versus yang – opposite sides of the same coin.
There are many different definitions of value, but the one I am talking here about speaks to personal integrity and something of worth to another person. My colleagues passing made me think about what value that I bring every day to my clients and even just the people I encounter on a daily basis. I have often said that my mission in life is to heal people, one way or another. Through strength and various other ways I have managed to find a way to do that every day as my career, which I am very grateful for. But the question I’m posing to myself (and you can pose to yourself of course) is do I bring value to people every day? Do I carry myself in a way that is positive and uplifting to people and do my best to be at least congenial and helpful? Not every day of course, we all have our days where things are slipping or we are simply not being mindful of these things. But do I do it most of the time?
The other part of this is that if you aren’t bringing value to either yourself or others, then why are you doing what you’re doing every day? Are you trapped in a job because of money and family and are unable to change? Maybe just getting one hour a week where you can give to others would make a difference not only in your life but in someone else’s life as well. I’m lucky that I get to help people every day, but it was a conscious choice made many years ago and has been a struggle many times. I found my calling and I can only hope that you’re lucky enough to have found yours. But every day from now on when I wake up I’m going to think about “how can I bring more value to the people I meet today” and really try to emulate that. I think it will help to make the world a better place as a whole and if I can change just one life, then it is worth it to me. Really take a look at yourself and figure out why you’re here on this planet, and then if you’re not heading there, just go do it. Find a way to get there, even if it takes a long time and a lot of struggle because at the end it will be worth it.
When my grandfather passed away years ago, the church was standing room only. He was a orthopaedic surgeon who helped people walk again, and the amount of grateful people in that room that he had an impact on overwhelmed me and partially shaped what I do today. Every now and then we lose sight of things, and I’m really glad that this weekend helped me open my eyes again. Rest in peace Peter. Your work will live on in the people that you influenced like me.