A busy day on the road where I live is three cars and two horses, to say it is secluded is an understatement so imagine my surprise when driving to visit a client early one morning I saw a pink suitcase abandoned in the hedgerow about a quarter of a mile from my house.
On my way home the suitcase was still there, however, its position had changed and it was now slightly open. Somebody had clearly stopped and taken the time to open the suitcase and inspect the contents although clearly there was nothing in it for them.
The next morning I was out early again on my way to an ABC Networks meeting and the suitcase was still there but was now closed again, had someone else inspected it and found nothing in it for them?
That evening on my way home I could see the suitcase in my headlights and it was, once again open and the contents (old clothes) strewn on the ground. Someone had again been looking to see if there was anything in there for them. Something for nothing!
I stopped picked up the contents of the suitcase and replaced them, closed it and put it into the boot of my car. The next morning I drove to our local disposal area which is a ten minute drive from where the suitcase had originally been dumped and put the old clothes into the container with all the other discarded items and then put the suitcase into the crusher. The complete process including to and from the tip took me less than 30 mins.
Now this isn’t just a story about looking after our countryside and me being a litter crusader. For me it actually throws up three individual morals; you know how I love a story with a moral attached!
- On a networking level; lots of small business owners attend network meetings and are only looking for what’s in it for them, similar to the people looking in the pink suitcase. Networking is far more productive if people think along the lines of “How can I connect someone to another person that maybe good for them?” or “How can I turn this stranger into a friend?” or “How can I contribute to the group?” or “How can I recommend a business in the room to one of my friends, Family or clients?” In time the law of reciprocation will repay them ten fold.
- On a business level; there are no short cuts to success. If we want to achieve success, whatever that looks like for us, we have to pay in advance and in full. Being successful in business is very much about sow and reap, you can only take out what you put in. If you put as much time into working on your business as you do in looking for a short cut then you are more likely to find the success you are looking for. You won’t find any secret source in a pink suitcase.
- On a human level; we are all living on this planet together and sooner or later all these little (or in some cases not so little) acts of selfishness will add up and destroy the very thing that gives us life. Dropping McDonalds bags out of your car window, a fag end just flicked into the path of another driver are just small examples of “It’s all about me” which today’s society seems to be all about. Not caring about anyone else except “What’s in it for me me me!”
If we would all just think about the impact of our actions on other human beings before discarding an old pink suitcase in a picturesque country lane, so that other greedy, what’s in it for me losers can pin all their hopes of a short cut on, what a great start that would be.
The next time you ask the question “What’s in this for me!” Think about the pink suitcase, and maybe, just maybe we could start a revolution of daily acts of kindness to our fellow human beings!
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