After listening to great podcasts, like the Ted Radio Hour or Mike Rowe’s “The Way I Heard It,” talking to others in leadership, or just reading through the Gospels in the Bible, I am seeing one overarching theme: Find the needs around you and meet them.
Along with that advice I should also add that all of the people mentioned above talked about meeting needs without worrying about the fame, success, or money it could possibly bring you. In all of the examples I heard and ready about, people were meeting needs because they saw a huge gap, and saw that they had the skills to fill it. When it came to Dirty Jobs, it was 8 seasons of Mike going around the country and talking with folks who saw some large needs and found ways to meet them. With the Bible, it was Jesus walking around with his disciples and helping heal the sick and dying.
When I recently decided to take this advice to heart, I asked around my office and discovered a way where I could help another department, HR, and get to know some of the new employees coming into our plant. All I am doing is something as simple as taking 30 minutes out of my week to help direct the folks coming for our interview process and directing them to the right place. This is nothing earth shattering, but it does free up the HR staff to prepare and get ready to do what they do best.
I don’t think we realize how the small and simple things can really be a help to others. I know that I am not alone when I think the only way to help is by offering an entire day of service and meeting the most crucial needs of others. Although, as I read more and listen to others who have gone before me, I am reminded that it is sometimes the simple, as in the case of me offering 30 minutes out of my week to direct folks to the right place, can offer an immense help and have a big impact.
Now I’m not suggesting we meet ever needy that comes up, that would just be crazy and would run you ragged. Plus, if you literally hate every moment you are serving, I would say that even if you are meeting the need, you are doing a great disservice to yourself and the beneficiary as they may end up feeling indebted to you. We just need to take a moment and step back, look around, and see the gaps that we can fill with the talents and skills we have been given.
As we take a moment to take a step back, what are some of the needs around you, and how could you possibly find ways to meet them?