Sunday, November 16, 2014

Maximum Impact From Minimal Effort

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. – Aesop

Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. - Scott Adams

About 3 pm yesterday afternoon, I received a text from a friend.  The text, though brief, was clear.  A mutual friend of ours was in significant financial trouble, needed help immediately and the person texting me was wondering “What should I do?”

Many times in our lives, we are presented with a situation that calls for an answer and in our desire to help, we may choose to take ownership of the situation, looking for the “home run” that saves the day.  We may do this for a number of reasons, including our ego’s belief that the problem is ours alone to solve or the credit is ours to claim, the person needing help might be embarrassed if too many people know of the trouble they are in, etc.

And so the person texting me was asking me to help come up with the “home run” to save the day for the person in trouble.

I countered with a different approach.

I texted 99 people who also knew the person and in a single text, explained the issue and asked each of them to wire $100 (no more) to him immediately.

Everyone complied willingly and quickly and within an hour, he had $10,000 on hand.  The texts that flowed to my phone were ones of gratitude for the opportunity to help but the one that brought the biggest smile to my face was from the person who needed help:

A miracle is unfolding right before my eyes.  Do you know anything about this?

My response was:

Maybe :-)

Nobody was embarrassed – there was too much love floating around to allow embarrassment to enter the picture.

Meanwhile, it took me almost 12 hours to catch up on the texts that zipped back and forth as people enjoyed the afterglow of having done a good deed.

The Bottom Line

While many times our ego calls upon us to save the day when a situation presents itself, we need to remember that it is not the size of the individual act but the size of the result that matters.

It keeps our ego in check, allows others to feel great about contributing to a larger cause and the person needing help still wins.

I think that is a real win.

What do you think?

In service and servanthood,


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