Thursday, February 21, 2008

What We Really Want – Part 2

I believe that what we want more than anything else is to be invaluable to others.

Fortunately, there are so many ways that we can be. Sometimes, it’s what we give to someone. A mentor of mine got up very early every Sunday morning to give me his time and his life wisdom (plus a free breakfast). As a young married man, every meeting was priceless. I moved to another city 10 years ago, but I still quote him constantly.

Sometimes, it’s what we model for someone. At a weekly gathering, I used to wave and offer a group “hello,” then sit. One night, I watched one of the newer members come in. Before sitting, he went around to every person in the room, shook their hand, and spoke with them for a moment before moving to the next person. By the time he was done that night, I vowed that I would never again enter a room without doing the same thing. I was so impressed that I can’t help but be faithful to that vow – even though my natural shyness still begs me to give it up.

Other times, it’s just who we are. An older friend of mine is one of the most talented athletes I’ve ever seen. But he is also the most enjoyable. In every sport or spontaneous game we played, he not only clowned the rest of us into hysterics while running or throwing or batting circles around us, but he always teamed up with the youngest or slowest or least talented, and helped them to make the goal or score the touchdown. Instead of showing off his divine abilities, he used them to enable “the least of these” to be the hero. At 43 years old, I still say to myself, “When I grow up, I want to be just like him.”

Unfortunately, we can’t always make those opportunities happen. Most of the time, they just appear, often without us realizing it. I’ve often thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was some simple way to offer someone something invaluable?”

Good news: there is.

Thank you for reading. More on Monday . . .


  1. I am constantly saying "I want to be just like____ when I grow up" I wonder if I will ever leave that impression on anyone. Great post!

    BTW, I caught up on your previous posts today you noble gentleman! I laughed until I cried at the land of Intimate Apparel! So FUNNY!


  2. I can't wait for part III! The only problem I have with the series so far is the part about "wanting to be just like ______ when I grow up". My problem is - I DON'T WANT TO GROW UP! So, is it OK if I just embrace the philosophy of "I want to be just like _______" and leave it at that ?


    P.S. Growing older is a fact of life. Growing up is an option!


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