Throwing down a challenge: Do good by others

November 18, 2010

There are many principles in the Dale Carnegie Golden Book that help teach us how to be friendlier to others — that we can all agree on.

Carnegie suggests that we “give honest, sincere appreciation,” “become genuinely interested in other people,” and “make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely.” If you’re familiar with Carnegie, you’ve heard these principles time and time again.

What I hear when someone talks about them is something even more simple: Do good by other people. And if you think that’s always easy, then you’ve discovered the magic formula (and we’d love to hear it!)

For the rest of us, we sometimes get caught up in our own schedules, don’t we? We have our own errands to run, our own careers to pursue, and our own families to provide for. It’s easy to lose track of the last time you talked to Jim, or when you last asked Mary how her ailing grandmother was doing. And sites like Facebook and Twitter have made keeping up with people easier than it’s ever been — so do we really have an excuse not to?

This post was actually inspired by something that happened to me today. I was sharing with a friend some of the health issues that my dad is dealing with, which is definitely a source of stress and worry for me. She told me that her mom had dealt with a similar issue, so she can certainly understand how tough it is to have a parent in that position. She told me she had my back and that I should feel free to reach out to her at any time, whether it’s to vent or just get something off of my chest.

As if that wasn’t enough, she then took to Twitter to implore anyone who crosses paths with me today to give me a hug or a high five. And then to give me a second one from her.

So simple, but yet so meaningful.

So today I challenge you to be that person for someone in your life. Is there a person you’ve been meaning to call but haven’t “found the time”? Is there a neighbor who could use help mowing their lawn, or maybe a significant other who could use a full tank of gas in their car, just because? Do it. And then come back here and tell us what you did. We’d love to hear the things you’re accomplishing with the doing good by others theme in mind.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Birmingham, Alabama. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @dalecarnegieala.

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