Walk Like MADD Oct. 23rd 2021
I was honored to be the Emcee for this annual fundraising event held at a park in Tempe, Arizona, If you have read some of the blogs I have written about my own experience regarding drunk drivers, you know why I am a proud volunteer for this organization. Surviving a head on crash with a wrong way drunk driver is a low percentage chance, but somehow I was lucky enough to do so. And that crash has sent me down a couple of interesting paths since 2015 when it occurred.
One thing I can tell you for sure, and this I learned from my coaching career, operating in the service of others is one of the best ways to help yourself. That may sound odd, but it is true. I have learned an awful lot about myself in the course of helping others. In this particular organization, I get the chance to educate people through my own experience why it is so critical to make good decisions when it comes to impaired driving. I could have easily lost my life to a person who made a very poor decision and tried to drive themselves home with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. But as I said, I was lucky, and I am still here to share the story personally instead of a family member having to do it for me.
Helping others understand that they are not alone, that what they have experienced, regardless of the outcome or circumstance, they have someone to lean on, THAT is something I am proud to be a part of.
As a coach, there was nothing better than being enrolled in someone’s dream of a goal, to be part of the process and help see it through. I have cried more happy tears one step outside of a racquetball court with one of my students in a bear hug than I have everywhere else combined. There is nothing like helping someone realize the potential you see in them. And the ironic part is that they thank me…they did the work, they followed the path, they executed under pressure. I just helped along the way. I know they see it differently, and that is perfectly fine. I am not trying to downplay the role I had in the process, but I know who did the majority of the heavy lifting. I just came in and helped out when needed.
When it comes to life in general, it is a common thought that helping others gives you the all the feels you were hoping for. In Jordan B. Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life (not an affiliate link) he talks about getting your own life in order first, and using these basic step to do so. But then the thoughts turn to your place in the world (society) and how you need to contribute to feel part of the greater community around you. Yes, you need to have some level of self awareness and order in your own life, but you do NOT need to wait until you fix all of your problems to help someone else. EVERYONE is a work in progress, and there are plenty of people who are financially, spiritually, emotionally, and/or morally not as far down the path as you are. Be aware of that and jump into the mix. Doing something to help someone will assist them, and you will also learn and grow in the process. Trust me when I tell you, it can become addicting to some degree.
While it may sound like I am promoting this idea as a selfish way to gain something for yourself. I am not sure that there is something that is a truly self-less act, as givers gain in the process of charity or assistance as well. Going back a long way in our human evolutionary history, we HAD TO contribute to the community and “village” around us in order to earn our keep. If you didn’t you were ostracized and probably died alone shortly thereafter. It was literally life and death that you helped everyone around you as a way of life. Nowadays, we have labored under the illusion that we are separated from the world, despite the interconnectivity of our lives through technology. We work from home, attend classes virtually and order food online to be delivered to our front door. Not a trend in the right direction without a counterbalance of sorts to ensure you fulfill the basic human need of a sense of community and helping others.
There are endless ways you can helps others, and I encourage you to explore these opportunities for self growth as well as elevating others. You will be a better person for it, and the world will be a better place because of it. Do your part.
I wish you luck in your endeavors.