How ready are we, psychologically, to wrap up 2017 and embrace the potential of 2018?
While most headlines would have you focus on tragic, devastating events that are happening in the world on a regular basis, periodically, it is important to stop and refocus. In fact, your mental and physical health depend on you doing just that.
We can all agree that there are evil people in the world, but there are also everyday heroes that stand up to that evil, help those affected by it, and work hard to overthrow it. Be mindful that on the other side of evil, there are far more people engaged in a battle to defend the victims, stop those engaged in victimizing activities, and heal the wounds. Good outnumbers evil, every day.
We all know people that have been tragically affected by crippling or terminal illnesses, but we also know people that have survived some of the worst afflictions, due to advances in science and medicine. There are thousands of people that have dedicated their lives to finding cures through research and treatments that are funded with millions of dollars from everyday heroes through their generous donations. Today, more people survive illnesses that were considered terminal a few years ago. Good people fight back, every day.
We regularly read about natural disasters that wreak havoc across the globe, but did you know that following Hurricane Harvey, volunteers and members of The Salvation Army immediately deployed to south Texas, set up 41 mobile feeding units — each capable of providing 1,500 meals per day — and two field kitchens — each producing up to 15,000 meals each day. They remained there for as long as the need existed. And then, with the near total devastation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, The Salvation Army was there immediately, distributing more than 5,000 meals a day and providing more than 8,000 relief supply packages per day. These workers put themselves in harm’s way to help those in need. And thousands of volunteers and agencies from around the world are still their helping people rebuild their lives.
Closer to home, there are billions of dollars being donated by everyday people to facilitate the work of an ever-growing number of volunteer groups and organizations. People in our industry are shining examples of how we can all make a difference.
Take Ayal Latz and his team from a2b Fulfillment in Georgia. They sponsored a Second Harvest Food Distribution event that distributed 8,500 pounds of dry goods and more than 5,000 pounds of fresh produce to 237 area families in need in their communities. Or how about Monica Smith and Marketsmith Inc. They are working to end children’s hunger in New Jersey. This is their sixth year operating the Bring Dinner Home Event to benefit Newark’s Camden Street School and provide families in need of assistance with food, clothing, and other necessities. There are many more of our industry partners and associates doing great work like this, every day. You don’t have to look far to find a place to donate your money, time, and talents.
Around the world, people are also learning how to keep our air cleaner, water safer, and the planet more capable of sustaining all of us. The world is literally changing for the better every day. Sure, we have problems and challenges, and we always will. Knowing, seeing, and hearing are the first steps toward making the changes needed to positively impact the eventual outcomes.
Here’s the thing: as we change our mindsets, become more positive, feel less victimized and more empowered to enthusiastically move forward, our lives change. It has been said that we all live on one side or the other of the same coin. On one side, we are doing well and able to reach out to provide assistance to others. On the other side, we are struggling and in need of some help, a word of encouragement, or an empathetic ear. Life tends to toss us between the two sides of this coin — so help when you can and accept a hand when you need it. We all benefit.
Because we are anchored in real values, we all become better businesspeople, more focused, more energized and ready to seek opportunities that provide rewards for us and our employees. In truth, the fruits of our labor are the richness of life. Be positive and confident as you do great things.
This year, as you gather with families, friends, and associates, believe that each day is an opportunity to be better, to reach out and make a difference in your life — and someone else’s.