He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. – Spanish Proverb
When Things Talk
This is an interesting tale of an unforgettable lesson I learnt from an experience with a fan in 2016. It is a lesson I do not wish to forget and one you, too, should not forget. As you know, I find teachable moments and valuable life lessons from people, places and things around me, which seem to continually be having “conversations” with me. I suppose it’s the teacher in me looking for teaching aids to teach people how to develop the skills to win in their life and career.
The Heat and Discontentment
June 21 marks the official beginning of the summer season. However, the summer heat came several months earlier in Jamaica, prior to summer 2016. On some days, the heat was almost unbearable and along with it came the discontentment bug. Ever since I turned 36, I seemed to have become badly infected with the discontentment bug. I keep comparing my life to others and lamenting the fact that I do not have the symbols associated with success: no family of my own, no car and no house, which so many of my contemporaries have. Of course, this is all because of the choices I made and partly because of my lopsided thinking about life.
Naturally, in this state self-pity crept in. I reflected on the fact that I was in a season of reinvention and my financial resources were limited. Now it seemed that things went from bad to worse materially and I kept saying, “In four years, I will reach the big 40. I need to make sure certain things are in place or I will be a complete failure.” It felt like a mid-life crisis for sure! Then, right in the midst of this unbearable heat and discontentment, my fan, just six months old, stopped functioning!
Immediately, my frustration went through the roof because I could not immediately replace it, and my pride would not let me ask for help. Along with the discontentment bug, I had forgotten that a man’s life is not measured in the abundance of his possessions. Thus, in the midst of these uncomfortable emotions, I repented and decided to adopt an attitude of gratitude. I realized I still had much for which to be grateful and I mentally began to list the accomplishments in my life thus far. Thus despite the physical discomfort, I decided to make the best of my situation and not complain while I waited for the fan to be fixed.
The Fan Rescue and Life Lesson
The first attempt at fixing the fan was futile and I echoed mentally: “I will survive.” However, that night, after closing up and retiring for bed, I heard a knock on my door. And although I was somewhat alarmed, I responded and opened the door. Lo and behold, it was my landlady and there she stood offering a fan to alleviate the problem. At that moment, it felt like I was given a million dollars! Imagine that, without asking for aid, aid had come and it had not cost me a dime. Oh how my heart leaped for joy and it was then that the fan spoke to me! “Your most valuable treasures are not your material resources, they are your relationships.”
With tears streaming down my face, I realized I had not been properly focussed. In fact, I am not as poor as I think. I am rich! I am rich with a network of caring friends and family who are available to help when I need help. As the tears flowed, I recalled the things, the experiences I have had and the places I travelled to without my personal money due to this loving network. I thought about the fact that we take nothing in this world and we leave with nothing, but our relationships will last forever. And if we are believers in Christ Jesus, we get to spend eternity together.
In fact, many things we boast of in this life will not last forever. Marriage will not last forever. The cars come and go. The houses we’ll leave, but the relationships we have forever. My greatest treasure is my network of caring friends and family. I may not have the resources materially but I am resourceful. This was a powerful lesson learnt for a life-time. It is a lesson to be remembered and a lesson worth sharing.
My Treasured Resources
Immediately, I contacted some of my friends and told them: “You are my true treasures.” I hugged my landlady and told her the same. I realized that when someone is in need and I personally cannot help, my network often comes to the rescue. Therefore, learn this lesson and invest in your relationships. Remember, the next time you are faced with personal lack, think of the treasures around you. They may just be available to meet the need. I believe this awareness is one key to win at life. Learn to be content! Dwell not what you lack but on what you have. You have more resources than you think. Learn to become resourceful, and as you strive for greater levels of success, don’t forget your true treasures.
The New Book
This is another excerpt from my upcoming inspirational book, “When Things Talk: 31 Wise, Witty and Worthwhile Lessons to Win at Life.”
Questions for Reflections
If you enjoyed this article or found it insightful. Feel free to comment, like and share this article.
- What is the fan saying to you?
- Who or what are your true treasures?
- How resourceful are you?