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The UCB Word For You

Being unselfish

29 April 2022
‘Be interested in the lives of others.’

Unselfishness does three things for us:

1) It improves the quality of our lives. It gives us more appreciation for life and a glimpse of its higher values. Seeing people in need and giving to meet those needs puts a lot of things into perspective. John Maxwell wrote: ‘There is no life as empty as the self-centred life. There is no life as centred as the self-empty life.’ If we want to improve our world, we should focus our attention on helping others.

2) It makes us part of something greater than ourselves. In the mid-1980s, the pharmaceutical organisation Merck & Company developed a medication to cure river blindness, a disease that infects and causes blindness in millions of people. Most of the people it affects live in developing countries. It was a good product, but the potential customers couldn’t afford it. But Merck produced the drug anyway, and decided to give it free to anyone who needed it. They gave away more than 250 million tablets. George W. Merck, the company’s president, said, ‘We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It’s not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear.’ The lesson in this for us is instead of striving to be great, we should try to be part of something greater than ourselves.

3) It creates a legacy. When we think unselfishly and invest in others, we have the opportunity to create a lasting difference that will go on for the whole of our lives and beyond. The Bible says, ‘Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.’ Let’s make that our goal.


What Now?

For every person you meet today (even people you don’t really get on with), think ‘What could I do to make their day a bit better?’ Then put your ideas into action.

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