We need to help each other out.
My life would’ve turned out far differently without people in my corner to help me along the way. When I started my first job at 14, my father was helping me understand what it meant to earn an honest wage and what more I could do with an education. When he recognized I could become an asset in banking, it was one of my Dad’s customers who helped, getting me the chance to successfully advance in the financial sector over several years. When unemployed in 2009 after a hasty career choice in the public sector, a manager I’d only briefly worked with pulled me out of my hole, effectively helping me establish the career I have today.
I don’t care what anyone says — you’re not getting anywhere without help.
But you can’t just take in life — you’ve got to give help to others, too.
I learned to pay it forward early on.
In my first years of high school, we quickly learned we needed 40 hours of community service to graduate. I remember my parents dropping me off at Mississauga’s Square One Youth Centre — which had yet to open — unaware of how deep I’d soon venture down that rabbit hole. Six years and 2500+ volunteer hours later, I’d raised thousands for a youth centre, giving my peers a safe place for after school activities where they could be themselves; I worked with Mississauga’s mayor and several like-minded teens to establish an annual celebration of youth and all their talents; I worked hard to better the lives of people I’d meet, even if I didn’t always realize I was doing it. It’s through all this activity and the principles they fostered within me that I continue helping others today, believing the only way to truly help ourselves is to improve the world through helping others.
I see this more clearly than ever now that I’m a father.
Over 18 months, I’ve devoted much time and energy into raising a son who I want as happy and healthy as possible. But you can’t just devote your time to parenting if you want to keep sane — you need date nights, time to yourself, time to kick back with friends… time to do all the things you got up to before you had a child.
And you soon realize you can’t do it all yourselves. Sure, you divide and conquer to give each parent breaks wherever you can find them, but to take any considerable time away from your legal dependent(s), you’re going to need people you can trust to hold things down. You’re going to need the help of your family, friends and community — no one is an island; why should you be the exception?
So next time you feel compelled to look out for #1, think about what that means. If you think you can advance in life solely by walking all over others, one day you’ll likely realize material wealth can come and go — it’s the relationships we keep that make life worth living, and great relationships can often start through an outstretched helping hand!
BMO’s a company that gets this, putting their money where their mouth is with their #HelpGiven/#BMODayoff campaign. Life ain’t easy out there — where decades ago it was easier to support a family on a single income, many of us live cheque to cheque as housing prices jump, wages fail to keep up with inflation, and society continually demands we strive for more.
In the series of videos above, you get to see what happens when people actually care. There’re so many intangible things we all need like time and love – when someone can give them to us, it’s a beautiful thing.
If you need a little hope for the world, make sure to check the videos out. There’re still great people out there if you leave yourself open to giving and getting help – we could all do with tearing our defensive walls down and really connecting with others so we can all improve ourselves.
Make the best of your time – you only get one shot at it!
Disclaimer: Though compensated for this post, I firmly stand behind its message! As a former banker myself, I know how deeply involved you can get with your customers, wanting to do whatever’s in your power to help every one of them. Arash’s story is a great example of what can happen when people pool their efforts and resources together, going back to the sense of a community where people look after one another!
If you’re looking for more of what BMO’s up to, you can catch them on Twitter!
If you want to know more of my story or just want to ask for help on something, feel free to hit me up at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube! I might not be able to help directly, but hey — you never know! You can also read my buddy Zach’s take on the story!