Today I want to illustrate my point about ‘helping others’ through a powerful story. I know you’re going to be moved by it, just as I was. Before reading it, please accept my apologies for not posting an article in so long. I was getting a book off to the publisher~! Here’s the story!
A Powerful Story About Helping Others:
It was 1942 and Sussi Penzias, a young Jewish woman who’d fled Nazi Germany, was traveling alone, hoping to remain unnoticed. Since she’d arrived in Italy three years earlier, she’d been moving from place to place, hiding from the authorities. Now she was on her way to yet another safe house in a new town.
Suddenly, the door at the end of the train car swung open and two police officers came in. Sussi’s heart beat wildly. They were wearing the black uniform of the Fascisti, the government police. To Sussi’s horror, the policemen began making their way down the aisle, stopping at every row to examine the papers of each passenger.
Sussi knew that as soon as the policemen discovered she had no papers, she would be arrested and sent to a concentration camp, where she would face unimaginable suffering and almost certain death.
The officers were getting closer, just a few rows away. There was no escape. It was only a matter of minutes before they would reach her seat. Sussi began to tremble uncontrollably, and tears slid down her cheeks.
The man sitting next to her noticed her distress and politely asked her why she was crying.
“I’m Jewish and I have no papers,” she whispered, hardly able to speak.
To her surprise, a few seconds later the man began shouting at her, “You idiot! I can’t believe how stupid you are! What an imbecile!”
The police officers, hearing the commotion, stopped what they were doing and came over. “What’s going on here?” one of them asked. Sussi began crying even harder.
The man turned a disgusted face to the policemen and said, “Officers, take this woman away! I have my papers, but my wife has forgotten hers! She always forgets everything. I’m so sick of her. I don’t ever want to see her again!”
The officers laughed, shaking their heads at the couple’s marital spat, and moved on.
With a selfless act of caring, the stranger on the train had saved Sussi’s life. Sussi never saw the man again. She never even knew his name.
Helping Others IS Helping Ourselves:
Sometimes we, as small business owners or just as people, can be so focused on getting our own goals met, that we forget the bigger purpose of our lives and our work.
I have fallen into this trap many times by fashioning my goals in terms of how much money I want to make or how many clients I want to have. I notice, however, that when I switch my focus to helping others, the questions change.
Questions That Reflect Helping Others:
If I turn my focus to helping others, I start asking, ‘How many people can I help this week?” or to “How Can I Serve My Clients Better”. I have noticed time and time again that really good things start to happen in my work and in my personal life when I move my focus from what I want to ‘get’ to what I want to ‘give’. Others notice and trust me more and that’s vital for ALL my relationships, personal Or professional.
Try it yourself. Focus on helping others for a while by concentrating on what you can GIVE!