Whose Interests

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The question of the day is whose interests do we serve and why. We all want to do good and do the right thing. And we all want to make sure that we take care of ourselves. Quite often in our societies, we all end up feeling a myriad of emotions over these choices which we have to make.

Some people will tell us that it is wrong for us to concentrate all of our work, actions, and wealth on others. They may be right. Some people tell us that it is not right for us to focus all of our work, activities, and wealth on ourselves. They also may be right. So, who do we listen to and who do we believe?

I believe that life is a balancing act. We need to be balancing the actions of taking care of ourselves and helping others. If we totally deplete ourselves doing good for others, we will not help very many people, and our ability to help others would deplete rapidly as we wear ourselves out. However, if we spend our entire time focusing only on ourselves, no one else gets helped. What we need is a balancing act. We need to help ourselves, and we should do some good for others.

Anyone who has ever flown will probably remember the safety briefing where we are told to, if necessary, put our own oxygen masks on before helping anybody else with theirs. And this makes sense. If we are not breathing ourselves, we are going to find it very difficult to help others. To help others, we need to make sure we are in shape to do so, both physically and financially.

To care for myself, I need to earn enough money to live comfortably. Not lavishly. I just need enough so that I feel comfortable within my usual way of life. Part of that life is taking care of myself physically so that I can go out and help others without putting myself in danger and having the people I am helping have to take care of me. I have to ensure I have prepared myself for the task.

We see big companies who make huge profits, donate substantial sums of money. Yet money doesn’t solve every issue. Think of the older lady with no money who takes it upon herself to stay up with the younger woman who is in labor. Think of the man who will stay and keep a friend company after that friend has lost a loved one. They may not have money, yet their time is so valuable to the people they share it with.

We don’t have to be wealthy. We should not have to be destitute either. We can be ourselves. And if we can find ways to treat others the way we should treat ourselves, the interests of everyone are served, and we are all the better for the experience.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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