By Candace E. Salima, Contributor of US Daily Review
“What’s in it for Me?” What an interesting five words, and yet I’ve heard them more in the last five days than I have in a very long time. Sometimes, when we stand for a principle we tend to push aside the “what’s in it for me” for the greater good. That’s how I tend to live my life, and it frustrates my husband to no end. After being in my presence each time those words were uttered to me in the last week, he turned to me and said, “I’m looking forward to the day you learn to say, “no.” He felt I was being taken advantage of, and wasn’t taking kindly to it.
But back to my original point, sometimes it’s not about what’s in it for you, and more about what you can do for others. I helped plan a huge event. I saw amazing opportunities come and go because egos were too big, or there just wasn’t anything monetarily, or recognition, in the event for anyone except standing for a principle. So here’s my question, how did we come to this in America? Oddly, I seem to be asking that question a lot lately.
Somebody quietly weeded my flower bed the other day, and it was in dire need, and I have no idea who it was. But I know this, other than my undying gratitude for this unknown person, there was absolutely nothing in it for them. They can’t know how I’ve stressed over my inability to keep it clean and tidy due to a back injury, nor how much it bothered me that it looked like that. A tear escaped my eye, because someone helped and will never know how much their act of kindness meant to me. What if they had looked at my flower bed and simply said to themselves, “What’s in it for me?
There was a time in America when a neighbor in need was taken care of … a barn burned down … was rebuilt in a day. Garden or fields in need of harvesting, were harvested by neighbors after their own work was done. I may be oversimplifying the concept, but I think it is a core principle that has been lost. Had it not, we would not have an entire generation lost to a self-entitled attitude guaranteed to bring the nation down.
So perhaps we could remember a few salient points:
- Sometimes it’s just about what you can do for others;
- Sometimes we have to sacrifice and nothing comes back to us; and
- Sometimes it hurts, but it’s always worth it.
So I ask that you do just two things every day, be willing to help others and, equally important, be willing to be helped. If we all do these two things, maybe we can grab on to that American spirit which made us so great. That spirit is indomitable, but it can be crushed with neglect and a “What’s in it for me” attitude. Sometimes that great American spirit can grow to gigantic proportions if nurtured with, “How may I be of help to someone today?”