I recently ran across the following quote by author and educator, William Arthur Ward:
“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”– William Arthur Ward –
Ward speaks of six important “actions” that we can take to change our lives from passive to active, thoughtful to productive, and self-focus to others-focused. Let’s look at each:
- Participate – Too many of us believe that just being part of the team is enough… let others carry the load, but we’ll be there to support them. It is much better and more fulfilling to get out of our comfortable seat and participate. Getting in the game allows us to show what we can do and demonstrate what we can do.
- Help – It is noble to care. Caring shows compassion. However, for those that need help, caring alone may not meet their practical needs. I think Ward here is saying that it is often better to look for practical ways to do something to help.
- Practice – I believe I could break par in golf. I also think that I could play the piano that sits in our home. However, right now, I can do neither. I can believe it all day, but I wouldn’t be any better. Despite my strongest belief, nothing would change unless I took my desire and converted that into practice.
- Be Kind – We should all strive to be fair to everyone else. It is better, however, to be kind. Kindness is fairness put into action.
- Forget – When we forget, we have taken forgiveness as far as we can take it. Unless we forget, we haven’t totally forgiven.
- Work – I admit that I am a dreamer. I am constantly looking at what is possible. I like to “what if…” things a lot. However, it is better… it is more, when I work to actually achieve those dreams. Work is putting my dreams into action.
I totally understand why it might be easier to be passive than active. Being passive is comfortable… you watch others take the risks, you are at the game and can see the action, and it is more difficult to make a mistake. However, are you really doing yourself or others any good, or at least as much, as you could if you were active? And, if there is one thing I have learned over the course of the last 3 – 4 decades, we often regret the risks we don’t take much more than those we do take.
So, let’s get off the bench and into the game today. Turn your compassion into help. Kindness is never inappropriate. Stop holding on to what you should forget. And, stop just dreaming and make it happen!
Have a wonderful and fantastic day today! Find a way to make the difference for someone that crosses your path today. Do something fun for yourself. Finally, this would be a great day to “be more.”