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Becoming a Giver

I wanted to share a very interesting event I was able to attend. As a member of a church, I was able to attend a wonderful dinner where we had a guest speaker. After an amazing meal and table conversation with other attendees, the guest speaker started to share his thoughts. Some of you may know Bob Beaudine, Author & CEO of Eastman & Beaudine, an organization that is recognized as the Top Sports/Entertainment Search firm. He has written a book called “The Power of Who”. I have not read this book, but after my experience, I will be reading it soon.

About 60 seconds into his speech, he challenged everyone to pull their phones and prepare to text a message to our best friends. The only requirements were that It could not be anyone at the event we had to type exactly what he said. His words were “Hey I was thinking about you and how much I appreciate your friendship and I love you”. These words are difficult for some to say, but I wanted to really follow what he was saying, so I texted 16 friends I felt lead to connect with. As he said, “it will be interesting to see what you get back. Most men will not respond at all or they will sarcastic in their response.” I received 10 responses to my text which was amazing in my eyes! They did not range as far as some of the other attendees. Some of the other attendees’ responses were simply the word “GAY”, “are you drinking?”, “Please tell me you are not killing yourself”. Mine ranged from “Go Army, Beat Navy”, to “Back at you”, “Thanks & I appreciate you too”, to “I love you too”.

I share this for this reason. Hidden somewhere between laws and principles are universal powers that most people not only ignore but are unaware even exist. These silent powers have tremendous influence in our lives every day. For example, love is neither a law nor a principle, but no one would deny its force and impact on our lives. “The Power of Love” is so dominant it is felt and experienced by all people everywhere. The people I texted and who answered gave me a feeling I was not alone and that I was appreciated. This was only a simple text and a simple answer, but the feeling was real. This power of love is very real and how simple it is to give and receive. I realized that I can impact lives through a simple text, or acknowledgement to someone.

Bob went on to state: Another universal power is Darkness. It renders us unable to see. The only way to overcome “The Power of Darkness” is with light. Interestingly, light can be measured but not darkness. This power is easy to let into your life by simply ignoring or allowing yourself to think you have nothing to say or to give. As I sat there thinking that only 1 or 2 would respond to the text at all, I received a positive response from 9 of 10 responses. I never would have thought that would happen. Through this simple exercise, I realized how much I was withholding by being so focused on my issues, my desires, my wants, instead of how I can help people and potentially impact a life.

As a charity we try to raise money to help other charities impact the lives they focus on. We measure our success by how much money we raise. But how do you measure the impact of listening to someone else’s needs or desires? How can you measure people serving to help them reach a goal? Helping someone that can never repay is the biggest act of service. Most people do something to get something in return. But what does it cost you to say, “I love you”, “ I care about you”, or “I care about what you want in life” ? Or when you ask, “How are you?” and really stop and listen to the answer? Be interested in someone else rather than your own desires/priorities.

The power of Darkness limits us from any of this. The power of darkness makes us not caring, selfish, greedy and self-centered. As previously stated, Darkness cannot be measured, but light can. What is your measurement of light? We all expect to love our families and be an impact on their lives in some way. How many people outside of your family have you had an impact on? The greatest person in my life made this statement, “I came not to be served, but to serve.” (Matt 20:28)

The feeling I had when I put myself out there and received back a positive response, even if it was only one, made me feel worthy, and the desire to feel that again is infectious. Since that time, I have spoken to several of the folks I texted, and we discussed the little test/text. It impacted each one of their lives in a positive way. Grown men able to say “I love you” in a Philia (or true friendship) manner proves you are a worthy man. It gives you a freedom to be your true self and live a life defined by truth.

To live an impactful life, we must also allow ourselves to be impacted by others. My hope is that whoever reads this may be helped in some way to reach a deeper relationship with some key friends through serving and helping them in any way possible. That in turn will help you reach a level of peace and joy that is only possible with true friends.

Blair Thomas

Care & Mercy Foundation
Founder & CEO