Give and you get back a lot in return

Yesterday I found a heart breaking story on facebook, which made me think a lot. About life, about luxury problems and about how I react to others.

There was this owner of a carpenter’s workshop in a rural area of Upper Austria. He was on the way in a company car and in a hurry when a man, obviously an immigrant, asked him if he went to the next town. He harshly answered “no”. The man asked him, if he knew if the company needed workers. The company owner said “maybe”, still not very interested. The man told him that he was looking for a job for 6 months now but no one would take him and that he had no money for food. The company owner was shocked and offered him a job. The immigrant couldn’t believe it at first and asked him if it was a joke. Instead of answering this, his new boss asked him where he would sleep this night. After hearing that it would be at a bus stop he took him straight to the next hotel and paid for a room. Actually he has a new motivated team member now and is happy to just have listened a little closer once.

Stories like these are rare. But why? Of course, not everyone of us has the possibilities of hiring unemployed people in need or offering them a place to sleep. But if we are honest – isn’t it a fact that it is mostly not the missing resources but more the missing will to help others? Aren’t we all too focused on our own stories and lives and unwilling to listen to others, especially people with problems? Couldn’t we make the life of others easier with the little things and gestures, not only with the big ones? It doesn’t even matter that it is a story about an immigrant and that this topic is currently rather hot in Upper Austria.

How often do we complain about weather, missing money to spend on skydives and tunnel hours, shoes and bags and cars, about being stuck in a traffic jam? Is this really important? Of course – for us individually, it might be in that moment. But for others, this is not even worth a though since they have fundamental problems. And it often needs a tragedy or blow of fate until we realize what really should be our priorities.

For me, this means one thing. I will try to listen up. Look more closely. Really listen when somebody tells me about a problem and I will really try to find a solution. Not only fake the attempt to. I will try to be open and not to react with rejection if someone comes up to me. Because – next time it might be me who needs a hand….

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