Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the business owner whose business had grown tremendously over the years. But markets were changing, the competition was more fierce and he was worried about the future. He knew that his employees needed some words of encouragement from him, so he arranged for a company meeting for the next afternoon and went home to work on the remarks he would share with them.
When he got home, his wife reminded him that she had a commitment that night and that he needed to spend the evening with their 8-year-old son, Jack. He wondered how he could care for Jack and have the quiet time he needed to write his speech, but he came up with an idea that he knew would interest Jack and take considerable time. He grabbed a magazine and thumbed through it till he came to a brightly colored map of the world. He tore out that page, cut it into pieces and after mixing them up – laid them before Jack with the request that he put all of the pieces back together correctly. Delighted with such an interesting task, Jack happily went off to another room to work on this puzzle.
Alone, finally, the man began working on his speech but had been at it for only five minutes when Jack returned, smiling triumphantly. “Dad, I finished it – look!” And there before his father was the perfect image of the world, all glued back together onto a piece of paper.
Incredulous, the dad asked, “Son, how did you get that map of the world put back together so quickly?” “Well dad, I noticed that on the back of the pieces was a picture of a man and I figured that if I got the man right, the world would be right too.” Stunned, the man repeated to himself what Jack had just shared with him: “If I get the man right, the world would be right too.” He instantly knew that he had his speech for his employees.
What a great reminder that the best and, in fact, the only way to change this world for the better (getting the world right), is to get the man (or woman of course) right. Transforming ourselves one at a time is the only way to truly transform the world. For as we transform ourselves, we begin to transform our marriages, our families, our communities, our schools, our businesses, our nation and the world. And as we begin to transform ourselves, we quickly discover that it is only in giving to others that we are able to be transformed into the best version our ourselves. – the version God intended us to be when He made us.
What are you and what am I doing today to “get ourselves right?” Work on it daily, hourly even, and encourage your children, your friends, and your colleagues at work to become the best version of themselves. Find a cause that needs your skills and give yourself to it. And watch out – the world you and I want will start to be realized.