February 26, 2023 | Issue #57
1 Quote. 1 Reflection. 1 Question.
"You are not here merely to prepare to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."
-From: Woodrow Wilson
-Source: Address at Swarthmore College, 1913
Wilson's speech at Swarthmore College challenged students to push beyond their limits and into the unknown.
His spine-tingling speech contained several gems, and this quote is one of them. His words remind us that we are here for a reason. We have heard this message in one way or another but still, we are struggling. Overall, we are richer, healthier, and safer than previous generations but suicide is up, obesity is up, and people are feeling more miserable in recent years.
So why is it things are getting better on the outside but worse on the inside?
One's environment and media consumption play a role in it, but there is something deeper. Wilson helps crack the code with the last sentence "You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."
Notice he says we are here to give something to the world not take from it. And by choosing not to give something, we are actively harming ourselves.
We know someone who is going 1,000 mph helping others. They have a fixed smile on their face, a bottomless battery, and the kind of attitude we find in books and movies.
In my life, that person is my father. He is 67 years old with the energy level of a professional athlete. He gives a lot and takes very little. One time I asked him why he continues to help people who don't appreciate him.
He simply replied, "Because that's the right thing to do."
No elaboration, or fancy explanation. It was as if he believed it was written into law.
For him, it didn't matter what was happening on the outside. He was set on giving something to the world, enriching it one small action at a time. With this kind of attitude, giving is contagious.
Let us give 1% more this week. Let us be a little more patient with our co-workers. Let us be a little more caring to our younger siblings. Let us be a little more understanding of our parents.
At the end of the week, we may be surprised we end up receiving more than we gave.
Ask yourself, what skill do I have that makes people smile?
ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER
The 1-Step Forward Newsletter is a weekly Sunday newsletter.
Each issue contains 1 Quote, 1 Reflection, and 1 Question each meant to guide you on the next step forward in your life towards improvement.
March 05 (newer)
"Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation." -Coretta Scott King
February 19 (older)
"We are always seeking for those things which are in the clouds, not for those that lie at our feet." -Henry Ford