Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein
Often times we get so wrapped up in success, making more money so that we can buy nicer things, and let the world know WE are on top. We lose sight of what’s truly important. Let’s say you have all the money there I to possibly have. This means you have all the material things you could possibly want. Well, at least you have back up nest egg, just in case your taste changes and you want a new car every year, or you want a few vacation homes to choose from, depending on the time of year. Now what? Do you think THIS is success? No… You become successful when you have a goal and you reach it. Is your goal being the richest person alive? Sure it’d be nice, but not very realistic, yet we strive for this every month by saving, saving, saving. What kind of life is that? Obviously a reasonable nest egg is realistic, especially in today’s economy. However, what ever happened to “Help thy neighbor?”
I’ll tell you what happened in my case. I came into some money, and saw a couple of friends hurting. One friend was without a vehicle. I was in the process of trading mine in to get a more gas efficient car. Instead of trading it in, I simply gave her my SUV. I then paid the unexpected fees for her at motor vehicle because she didn’t have a means to pay them. I got word that her and her husband were struggling to buy food, so I left some money in their camper early one morning and sent her text later on to let her know where she could find it. A few months later they were trying to buy the house they lived in, and she came right out and asked me to borrow $300. She said she’d put it in writing that she’d pay me back. After this, we went months without talking.
While sitting in my nice new car, waiting for my boyfriend to come out for his lunch break I sent her a text. I asked her if she would do me a favor. She wrote back… Depends. I wrote: Can we forget about the money you owe me? I feel like you’re avoiding me because you can’t afford to pay me back, and I value our friendship much more than the money. Of course she agreed, and was extremely grateful. I’ve still yet to see her. It’s been months.
It was during this same time that another good friend of mine got her Green Card. She is from Peru, and moved tot he states about 5 years ago. She met a man, fell in love got married and they had a baby. The marriage turned very ugly, and she divorced him, but by not being married any more, there was no guarantee she’d be allowed to stay here. Well, she got her Green Card, so she’s good for 10 years! (YAY) however, her family in Peru had never gotten a chance to meet her son who now almost 3. One of my first purchases was a brand new laptop computer so she could Skype with her family and they could actually see and talk to their first grandson.
In my heart I knew I was doing the right thing. This money was just going to sit in my account, and when I saw a friend in need, I was right there. I’ve helped a few others along the way, but I’m noticing a pattern… everyone all of a sudden knows that I have money, so my “friends” are coming out of the woodwork. It sickens me. I only have a handful of friends. I wish I could help them all, but at the end of the day, I’ve got an 11-year-old that I have to take care of, and I’d like to be able to have him inherit a chunk of money once my number’s called. So, I helped a few people and I got burned. Big deal. I know I did the right thing. I can sleep with myself at night. Those taking advantage are the ones who are going to have to face their own karma. My Peruvian friend didn’t take advantage. She never asked for a dime. I did that all on my own. If I knew she could bring her son out of the country, I would have bought her 2 plane tickets to Peru, but at the time, she was in the midst of a huge custody battle and there was no way I was going to pay that much for tickets on the off-chance she might be able to go.
My point? Stop seeing dollar signs and wake up!! There are people living in your neighborhood who are suffering. Is a gift card tot he grocery store going to set you back that much? And do it anonymously so they don’t come back looking for more. I promise you it feels wonderful!! Not to mention, that’s our purpose here… to help thy neighbor!! So give it a try. Leave an anonymous gift card (even if it’s as little as $10) to someone you know could use it, sit back and watch the results. Not only will you be helping someone else (quite possibly a complete stranger), but an action like this will bring you so much good karma in return. Stop focusing on how much you’ve saved, and just once, help someone else. I can almost guarantee that you’ll make a regular practice of it. It feels so good!!
Even after being used repeatedly, I STILL make the effort to help those in need. Strangers, and anonymously. I can’t stand the thought of someone befriending me because they know I have money. I also can’t stand to see the commercials on TV about children starving in other countries when we’ve got so many here with the same problem. Look around. Who can you help? How can you make it anonymous? It’s fun and it feels good. I do hope you’ll all give it a try…
That is my thought for Tuesday. Have a great day fellow bloggers!
Until next time…