Long ago I reconciled with myself the fact that I don’t know everything. When we’re younger a lot of us believe we do, but at some point reality comes crashing in and the light of truth shines right in your face.
Conversely, there is a lot I do know and what I know, I know well. And that’s ok. I know you know a lot and you know some things that I don’t know. And that’s ok too. Then there are times when nobody knows anything and we’re all looking around at each other trying to figure things out. And ya know what? That’s ok too, because we all know stuff, we’ve all had different experiences that created that knowledge, and that means we can all help one another at some point.
We can all be patient with one another as we learn, exchange ideas, think things through and work together on a common goal or purpose. They say knowledge is power and while that may be true, I think the sharing of whatever knowledge we have or can gain is the real power.
That’s why I talk about teamwork so much. That’s why I talk about collaboration and ideas coming from everywhere and anyone. The free flow of ideas, the exchange of varying opinions, the sharing of experiences all create a stronger bond and greater success. Finally, I also know that knowing doesn’t mean being right. We may know something and learn what we know wasn’t correct or that our idea isn’t the best one at a given moment. That does not mean the input was unimportant. Even in those instances, there is knowledge to be gained and cultivated.
You may wonder why we are so committed to our philanthropic endeavors. Why we focus on outreach and the good we can do for our members and in the community. Why our strategic focus is about experience and doing what’s right. Why our goals are set to generate the financial stability and income necessary to support our philosophy of people helping people. Well, I was recently watching a program on Netflix called, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. In it was a quote I found quite poignant and an applicable answer to those very questions.
“A species can only thrive when everything else around it thrives too. We can solve the problems we now face by embracing this reality. If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us. It’s now time for our species to stop simply growing, to establish a life on our planet in balance with nature. To start to thrive.” – Sir David Attenborough
Change a few words and…
We can only thrive when everyone else around us thrives too. We can solve the problems we now face by embracing this reality. If we take care of others, others will take care of us. It’s now time for us to stop simply growing, to be something bigger not just something big, to establish a balance with our community and start to thrive.
I made the most important mistake at the most unimportant time. That was the phrase I uttered in a dream a few weeks ago. I was apologizing for something and said, “I’m sorry I made the most important mistake at the most unimportant time.” It’s a phrase I have not been able to shake. I kept thinking about it over and over trying to gain some insight as to what it might mean. I think I figured it out.
There are no unimportant times and there are no unimportant actions. Everything we say and do matters, on some level, in every moment. Even if it seems a trivial or mundane act, even the simplest thing, can have a major impact. What I think my subconscious mind was trying to tell me is that you can’t take anything for granted; a smile at a passerby, the door you don’t hold, the stranger you help, the person you judge, you never know what that will mean or do to someone else. We all have a responsibility to think about the messages we send, the values we convey and the world we help influence because too many today place personal desire or want above the greater good.
I know nobody’s perfect. We just need to remember that actions/words have consequences and, even when you think something is unimportant, it could be the most important mistake you make.
Benjamin Franklin offered a poetic perspective:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For want of a horse the rider was lost,
For want of a rider the battle was lost,
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.