Each day when you make your list add the name, or names, of people you can help today. This is one of the foundational principles of the 365 Commitment for good reason.
We are deeply social creatures, and friendship is not only based on mutual admiration and goodwill, but mutual trade; a reciprocation of value between parties is a key ingredient in any friendship. That value can come in many forms, but it is always there. Friends help each other, it’s a two way street. Friends make all the difference when you are having a tough time, and tough times are inevitable in this life. If you have been providing value to others then you will have a safety net of sorts when the seas get rough.
Now, of course, when we write down names of people we can do something for each day it is in the spirit of gift giving, of generosity, not for the purpose of binding others in obligation. Obligations are more of a business transaction, a specific contract. In this case, I am not talking about that, I’m talking about gifts/help freely given, about generosity, not about not customers.
Reciprocation between friends is just a way of being that is instinctual I think. Why not turbo charge this instinct by habitually and consciously feeding it with actions of generosity everyday using the 365 Commitment? We do not know if or when we will receive a benefit in return, but we do know who our friends are.
I like how Jordan Peterson describes friends. You know them becuase you can share good news with them, and they are truly happy for you! They are not jealous, and they do not try to undermine or cast doubt on on the good news you shared with them.
You know they are friends because you can share bad news with them, and they are truly concerned for you and do not reply with something worse that happened to them – a perverse sort of one-upsmanship. People who do that are not friends, they are just somebody you know.
The next level for this is helping people you don’t know at all. It’s next level because it is an act of benevolence beyond your network. It is a gift to society and mankind. I think, this is best handled through your daily prayer (or meditation) practice. Ask for someone to cross your path whom you can help. Your help can restore someones faith in humanity and maybe even faith in God through your gesture to help them, even though you do not know them. Don’t be naive – this is why we ask God (or the highest good you can imagine) to reveal this person to us.
So, incorporate this important 365 Commitment principle into your life, write down names of people you can help on your action list today, in the spirit of gift giving and generosity. And, consider going “next-level” and asking, when you pray or meditate, for someone whom you can positively impact to cross your path, and then do so!
Ben Wagner (158)
Member The 365 Commitment