Jameis Winston became the youngest winner of the Heisman Trophy in 2013. His athletic ability is as undeniable as is his braggadocios words concerning those abilities and those of his college team. What a contrast to the self-deprecating words of Marcus Mariota, the2014 Heisman winner from Oregon. Which of these two types do people generally prefer to associate with?
It seems counter-intuitive not to talk about yourself and your achievements. After all, if you don’t toot your own horn, who will? Extremes are so commonplace today. Consequently, attitudes seem to hang either on the “let everyone know” or “you are full of yourself if you say anything”. The truth is there is a time and a place to acknowledge your abilities, achievements and goals, e.g. a job interview when asked why the company should hire you. More often it is best to let your actions speak for you.
There is much talk about helping others and the importance of understanding we live in a village. Beneath the chatter, however, is the typical sentiment “It’s all about me”. If I don’t look out for myself, who will? This overstatement, if left unchecked, leads to narcissism. Does anyone really enjoy spending their life with a person that is totally absorbed in their self?
Others will notice little and random acts of kindness. Others will notice what you do even when you do not talk about it. They probably will not always notice, but they will notice. And, they will share the truth about you with others.
A young professional shares a story along this theme. He was part of a weekly before business hours gathering in the office of a young insurance agent. One morning he shared his feelings of emptiness. He worked hard, tried to treat others as he wanted to be treated, and spent a considerable amount of time seeking to make the world a better place through building up people. “No one notices and no one cares”, he shared. He was taken aback by the immediate, sincere, and confident response he was wrong. To the agreement of the others gathered around the table, one said, “I will remember and I will tell others the good things I know you to do”.
““Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out (Matthew 6, The Message). Those are the words of Jesus—literally.
Others will pay it forward when reminded, helped to understand how, and hear/see the blessing it brings. Listening to 90.9 FM has promulgated and cultivated this in many. In Siloam Springs the Pioneer Citizen Award does something similar. Each year one or two outstanding examples of people caring for people across the years are recognized. This year Mike Moss, Jr. and Mark Simmons will be honored at the 85th Annual Banquet of the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce. Many know their hearts and actions, why they are worthy recipients. Many people could not explain why these two are being recognized as examples of the speak quietly and do good things for other people and your community—lots of them. Their actions are not for show.
Reading and putting into practice the injunction of Jesus makes the world a better place; one person and one event at a time. Anyone can participate and everyone is encouraged to do so.