Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Learning by Example

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses.

Some days, our weaknesses seem to outdo our strengths. On other days, the reverse is true.

One of my strengths is to be able to treat others with respect in many situations. Now, please don’t think I’m bragging here. It’s a learned strength. One learned from years of watching my mother and father deal with people in varied circumstances.

I learned how to be kind by watching and emulating their example.

For years before I really “got it”, though, one of my greatest weaknesses was that I could not seem to treat anyone with any measure of respect or kindness. For much of my adult life, I was a nasty, judgmental and downright rude person.

People would come to visit, and if I bothered to answer the door, I’d leave them sitting in the living room and go back to my bedroom until the awkwardness of the situation would be too much and they would finally leave.

I have many more stories like that, but I’d really prefer not to dwell on them (and I’d especially prefer you not remembering me like that!)

The point is, a weakness was turned into a strength by the patient teaching of my honorable parents. They acted, I learned.

We all have things we need to work on. We all have patient teachers around us who are willing to share what they know; who they are.

So, here’s today’s challenge:

Think of someone in your circle of influence who has a strength you admire.

It could be a coworker.

It could be a family member.

It could be someone you attend school with or who rides in your carpool.

When you’ve thought of them, determine that beginning today, you will try to learn from their example.

Watch them as they do what it is you’d like to learn how to do.

Listen to them as they talk the talk and walk the walk.

It’s okay to take notes, and it’s certainly okay to approach them and tell them what you’re doing. Ask for their help. Ask them to teach you just one thing about how they do what they do.

Then, as you continue to watch them day by day, try doing the same things. You don’t have to be a carbon copy of the person. You can mold and fit and adjust so that it feels natural to you.

But do it.

Starting today.

Find someone who has a strength you want, and then begin to acquire that strength yourself.

Thank you so much for reading today’s challenge.

Thank you for being willing to learn something about serving others as well as yourself.

Thank you for sharing this post with others. Thank you for posting it on message boards, for forwarding it in emails, for retweeting and for Stumbling it.

I truly appreciate you for understanding that…

Service is The Action Form of Love


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