Lately, there are days when it is extremely challenging for me not to get discouraged and disgusted by the barrage of tragic news continuously pouring in from around the world, our country, and most recently, our great state of Louisiana. Increasing violence, deafening angry voices, and escalating hatred are sadly becoming the new normal and all too frequent.
But then, there are days when I am reminded about the virtuous things. Days when my faith in humanity is restored and I remember what is truly important.
One of those days came last Friday at our annual Stirling Olympics, a company-wide fundraiser for local nonprofit organizations. Our incredible Stirling Team joined together to enjoy some friendly competition and good-natured rivalry. We competed in ridiculous games, crazy lip-syncing contests and clumsy relay races. But the most amazing moment was witnessing the genuine pride in our team when the funds were presented to the recipients.
This year, we set a lofty goal of raising $45,000 through Stirling Olympics and I am pleased to say that we surpassed that goal, reaching $57,000! Funds raised from the event benefited The ALD Foundation, which strives to raise awareness and supports the research of Adrenoleukodystroply, a genetically determined neurological disorder that affects young boys between the ages of four and ten, as well as the Miracle League of Greater New Orleans, which works with mentally and physically handicapped children so they can participate in everyday sports. What a perfect day!
For those of you that know me, I have an extensive collection of quotations from famous authors, celebrities and business leaders that inspire and motivate me in one way or another.
There is one on my office wall right now by basketball coaching legend, John Wooden, that is particularly meaningful to me and relevant today:
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
Yes, we can have good days when we celebrate our business successes and growth, or even personal accomplishments and material possessions. But in order to achieve living a perfect day, it must include a selfless act for the benefit of someone else.
What if we all devoted a little more time doing something to help someone else, rather than creating divisiveness, turmoil and tearing each other down? Could we accomplish more perfect days?
I am very proud of our Stirling Team for their hard work and generosity last week. They were equally proud to have made a difference in someone else’s life—especially those children from the Miracle League and the families from The ALD Foundation that joined us.
I know that we can’t change the world or solve all of life’s problems, but we can do our part, no matter how large or small. A kind gesture as simple as a smile can bring hope in those days of discouragement and disgust.
So my message today is to please go out and do something. Go out and do something—anything—kind for someone who will never be able to repay you. And let’s just see what happens.