Tony Blair Says Purpose Is Key To Happiness | Jessica Alba & More Give Back To Struggling Families | A Policeman's Kind Example of Empathy
Tony Blair Says Purpose Is Key To Happiness
By Jatinder Singh, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International.
Tony Blair is a politician whose name and legacy divides people’s opinions. Nevertheless, one thing that people often agree with, is his desire to bring change in challenging situations. In a recent interview with the Guardian, he cites how he was inspired by the Russian Marxist writer, Leon Trotsky’s desire to overcome social injustice. As a result of this inspiration, he revealed how important it was for his own happiness to have a purpose in his life that meant more than his personal success:
"Here’s this guy [Leon] Trotsky who was so inspired by all of this [social injustice] that he went out to create a Russian revolution and changed the world… And even though, you know, over time I left that side of politics behind, the notion of having a cause and a purpose and one bigger than yourself or your own ambition – and I think probably allied at the same time to coming to religious faith – that changed my life in that period.”
Whatever you may think of Tony Blair, the key lesson here is that, so often in our lives, we feel achieving personal success will give us all the happiness we desire and that success is often seen in the form of acquiring material goods, money, and status. However, many successful people who achieve such 'success', do so only to then realise how limited and unfulfilling material and financial success alone can be. They find that making a difference to others, as part of their own personal missions and causes, can add far more to their feelings of happiness than anything else.
Where in our own lives can we help someone out today, however small or limited our ability to do so is? After all, a lot of people making just a small difference can lead to big social change! To read more on this story click here...
Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson & More Are Giving Back To Struggling L.A. Families
By Kris Deichler, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
Baby2Baby is a Los Angeles based charity which, in the past six years, has grown into 'one of L.A.'s most high-profile philanthropies'. Run by co-presidents Kelly Sawyer Patricof, a former model, and Norah Weinstein, a former securities litigator. The organisation provides low-income children with basic essentials and is supported by ambassadors that include, Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore and Kate Hudson, all mothers themselves.
Julie Bowen, the Horrible Bosses and TV series Lost actress, who is also a board member, shares in a video featured in a recent Hollywood Reporter article that:
”My son has come to many of the Christmas parties and he gets to be an elf, which means we shop for the family ahead of time and he gets to give out the actual gifts to the families. I've watched him go from 'why can't I keep these toys for myself?' to just this great sense of pride in helping them carry the bags out to the bus, like he can't wait to do it and that is an experience that really makes me happy, because I think, maybe I'm raising a kid that wants to give back too!"
While we can look at famous and rich people supporting good causes and see 'giving back' as something we only do once we have succeeded ourselves, the quote from Ms Bowen shows just how valuable and important giving can be, whoever we are. This story shows, not only how important supporting the most vulnerable people in our society is (if we are to have a more healthy society overall), but how it's through our own examples of kindness and generosity that we inspire those around us to give more too, especially our children. What we choose to give to others can and will bring very positive benefits back to us and those we love too. Watch the video below from Hollywood Reporter...
Toronto Policeman Sets Wonderful Example Through Kindness
By Asif Valiji, Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
Through an act of genuine kindness and self-extension, Canadian Police Constable Niran Jeyanesan, from Toronto, has set a wonderful example for understanding people and helping them reform through wisdom and care.
Constable Jeyanesan was called to a scene where a young man had been apprehended for attempting to steal a shirt, tie and socks from a store in Toronto. When he arrived at the scene though, he discovered that the 18-year-old man had actually been stealing the clothes for a job interview. On hearing this information and empathising with the young man's intentions, the Constable decided to purchase the clothes for him instead of arresting him. He then wished him well for his job interview. When asked about the situation later, Constable Jeyanesan said:
"This young person has been facing his own difficulties in life and he was looking to straighten out all that by providing for his family and trying to get a job, this individual didn't have any resources. He wanted to go get that job. That was in his mind. I think he truly made a mistake."
This story is a powerful example of how listening and empathising with someone's situation first, rather than judging them on face value, enables us to more compassionately understand others and make wiser choices in life. By understanding the young man's motivation and ‘stepping into his shoes’, as a man trying to provide for his family - Constable Jeyanesan was able to make a decision that will likely have a far more positive effect than if he'd simply followed procedure. It also shows how being wise is more about seeing the bigger picture and what will make for the best outcome for everyone, rather than getting caught up in the technicalities of a situation.
How could you learn to improve your own empathy today? Try asking a friend, neighbour or partner how they are and, while listening to what they say, put yourself more in their shoes to better understand what life is like for them. To read more about this article click here...