After You Are 1/3rd Thru Your Life: Ask This Question

“I was blown away by the profound simplicity of this question.”

I recently listened to a talk and one part of it resonated in a unique way.

In general, people want to be treated well by others. Most want to treat others well, too, and help when they can.

The speaker suggested that by pondering a very simple question, we could do a personal assessment of our impact on those around us but more importantly could gauge how well we’re doing on our life journey.

Interesting premise.

So let’s jump right into it.

Consider the following question as it relates to your life thus far — there are three versions of the question:

  • If at age 40, I’m not kinder and more generous and more gentle than I was at 30, something is wrong with my life journey.
  • If I’m not kinder, more gentle, more generous and more loving, at age 50 than I was at 40, something is wrong.
  • If I’m not kinder, more gentle, more loving, at 60 or 70 or 80 than I was at 50, something’s gone askew.

Think about it.

No one’s looking.

This is just you in private.

How have you grown in how you relate to others over the long term. Think back.

How has your generosity of sharing time together, of kind and supportive words spoken in a gentle tone, of providing tangible assistance when someone else could really use it; how have you personally grown in your generosity in the past 10 years?

Bonus points when you’ve known that the recipient probably had no way to repay your kindness.

How have these actions been going in your life? Have they been improving in step with your growing life experiences and refining wisdom?

Extra credit if you’ve provided such kindness when no one else was around to notice it or praise you for it.

When you look back 10 years, and do a self-diagnosis of your attitude and generosity when others were in need of encouragement or practical support; in all honesty, how would you rate yourself?

Are you cringing, drawing a blank, or perhaps nodding your head at positive remembrances?

Okay, that’s your current level.

Do you think you can do better in the next 10 years? The people around you would probably appreciate it.

If you said Yes, then think of one person or situation in the coming week and determine now how you will help someone or be supportive or encouraging to them in something that’s important to them. Decide now that you’re going to do it at your first opportunity.

Every journey of improvement begins with the first action. After you’ve done it, then think about your next assistance. Keep doing this until it becomes second nature to you; the new you.

Imagine what people will think of you after 1, 2, 5 or 10 years of being kind and providing generous support to others?

Image what you will think of yourself?

“Be the change you want to see in the world!” — Mahatma Gandhi

“Now, go and do likewise.” — Jesus


I was inspired to write this after listening to a message by Doug Sider, Executive Director of the Be in Christ Church of Canada, who spoke recently on the topic of community and life transformation. He is passionate about the power of Jesus to change lives and communities.

I believe this is something we can all do better at!

Do you agree?