Do Unto Others...

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"Do unto others" is an inspirational story from the “Lessons from a Baby” series of articles.

do unto othersCelebrating Shiza's first birthday

Shiza turned one on the 24th of September 2006. My wife and I were very excited about his first birthday. Like most parents do with their first child we were planning to throw him a huge party and celebrate in a big way.

We would invite all his uncles, aunties, grannies and their friends and our friends as well and have one awesome party. That was until a thought hit my mind. I wondered “how would Shiza want to celebrate his first birthday?” The only problem – he couldn’t talk yet.

So I tried to put myself in his shoes, but they couldn’t fit. That was a joke! But I did think to myself what a one year old kid does for his birthday if he had a choice? How does he spend his time? What’s on his mind? In the midst of thinking about this my enthusiasm for the party was suddenly wiped out. We were excited about the party, but it was really not his party, it was ours. We just wanted an excuse to throw a huge party and have some fun.

So after a lot of thought and discussion we decided that we were better off getting him something he may actually want and which would give him many days of laughter and fun. Toys! Loads of toys! His aunt, Jacqui, his grandparents and our friends also got him loads of toys. He was happy and so were we.

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Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you

That got me thinking that generally when we want to do something for someone else it is important to consider what the other person actually wants. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” the saying goes. But sometimes that needs to be taken a step further. It may not be enough to treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated.

Why not instead treat others as they would like to be treated? We don’t always have to look at things from our own perspective. Try looking at it from the other person’s perspective. What do they want? How do they want to be treated?

It does not matter how expensive or elaborate a party you throw or how grandiose a gift you buy for someone. If it’s not something they want, your effort is in vain. You might as well throw your money down the drain.

You see, the important thing with gifts and such things is not so much the gift itself, but the thought that goes into it. A good gift says to the person receiving it “I really thought this gift through and tried to understand you and get you something that you really want or need.”

At the end of the day that is one of our greatest needs as humans – to be understood. We all want to know that there is someone out there that values us, our opinion and what’s important to us. After all, what can better say to someone “I care about you” more than making an effort to understand them.

So do unto others as you would have them do unto you, always.

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In the POWER PRINCIPLES series of books, Dr. Moses Simuyemba, "Africa's Success Coach", shares his knowledge, experience and insight to help you in overcoming your personal challenges and limitations and inspire you towards the life you desire and deserve: a life of greater purpose, free of fear and full of abundance.