Bart Starr, Legendary Quarterback for the Green Bay Packers
“We, all of us, could do a much better job of evoking what someone has called the universal principle of human altruism: the urge in us all to help others who are in danger.”
My wife and I were recently on a little jaunt to a park in a nearby town, when we saw a man laying by the road near his bicycle. As we got closer, it was clear that he was an older man, and that he was in pain. We pulled over and tried to see what we could do to help. My wife, who has some medical training, assessed the situation and told me to call 911. He had hurt his leg in the fall and it turned out he had actually broken his femur. At 83 years old, and 3 years out from a hip replacement, this wasn’t very funny.
Other than his leg, he was in good shape, and was very friendly and grateful for the help. My wife has an extremely comforting manner and held his hand all the while. When we got his cell phone out and he called a family member to tell them what was happening, he said, “An angel and her husband are here helping me!”
I am not telling this story to “toot our own horns” so to speak. What we did was the actual minimum a person should do to help someone in such a needful circumstance. We hear so many stories of someone being mugged on a city street and people just walking by them for extended periods of time, refusing to “get involved”. Helping others really costs so little and we should be ready when an opportunity presents itself.
Most of the time, those you meet are not in such a dire condition, and a simple smile can work wonders. A real life hero would be the person who practices encouragement. Feel compassion for those around you. Don’t be so much into competition and “beating the next guy” that you fail to see the needs that are all around you. It costs so little to help others. Happiness in life is all about the helping, not the domination we see so often in this world.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama
I found this quote on a website called Zenhabits.com in a great article called “25 Ways to Help a Fellow Human Being Today. The link will be in the show notes at daggersofthemind.com.
J.K. Rowling, Writer of The Harry Potter series.
“The spells are made up. I have met people who assure me, very seriously, that they are trying to do them, and I can assure them, just as seriously, that they don’t work.”
When my daughter was a toddler, she came to me all upset about something she had seen happen on television, and was afraid for the safety of one of the characters. She was literally in tears over it.
I proceeded to explain the difference in “real” and “make believe”. She seemed to understand the concept and over the next week or two would point to something on the screen, and pronounce it “real” or “make believe”, not missing the mark even once.
Now aged 25, this early lesson has served her well. While she still loves to play video games and watch situation comedies on television, she has a very serious approach to life, so far earning 2 degrees with plans to go for her masters and then a doctorate. If you will indulge me, I will say that I am extremely proud of her and her accomplishments.
But what happens if one cannot separate the real world from an imagined one? I have heard of a few cases of the children of people I know that never had a job and since their early teens have done nothing with their lives but play video games. I didn’t really believe this possible until it was confirmed by hearing of multiple cases.
Now, I am not saying that video games themselves are evil. It is just that some, who’s accomplishments in life consist only of what games they have beaten, find that real life is a completely different matter.
In 2011 a role playing game called Skyrim came out. I was actually new to gaming, but had been playing a military style game online once a week with family members and really enjoyed the interaction. When our schedules ended it, I discovered Skyrim.
In real life, you have success and failure based on what your actions and circumstances dictate. We can all achieve success in real life, but in a video game like Skyrim, you can be a god. You can do all kinds of things that you could never do in real life, slaying dragons, owning several estates and amassing enormous wealth.
When certain requirements are met, you are acknowledged as the hero we all dream of being. While the road to achievement is sometimes difficult, with a small amount of persistence, you will triumph. The rewards and acclaim are way out of proportion to what you could ever get in real life.
A person that has lived in this world for an extended period of time and has never had to fend for themselves in the real world, can have quite the life of fantasy, as long as Mom and Dad continue to bankroll them. It’s time for some tough love. Dig them out and introduce them to what really matters in life.
Hey, anybody can be a dragon slayer, but if you really want to be tough, get a job and deal with a real life boss. That really takes all you’ve got to win.