Put Others First

Putting others first: the importance of empathy and selflessness.

My Origin Story (PART 3)

“It’s the timeless notion that prioritizes others before oneself. This principle has been ingrained in me since childhood. You value others above yourself, so ‘don’t fuss, dear; get on with it’.”

Audrey Hepburn

Why is prioritizing others so crucial, and how can we do it without neglecting our own aspirations? Let’s begin with a timeless source of wisdom: my all-time favorite book, the Bible.

In 1 Corinthians 10:24, Paul imparts this wisdom to the Corinthian church, emphasizing, “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

Speaking of games, have you ever played Catan before?

If you haven’t played before, let me give you a quick overview. In Catan, you start by placing your village at the intersection of three commodities (there are five total commodities on the board), each with a number assigned to it. When someone rolls the number corresponding to your commodities, you collect those resources. These resources are used to build structures and acquire special cards.

The objective is to construct settlements, cities, and roads and accumulate enough experience points to end the game. Experience points are earned through building and other game actions.

Yesterday, as we played, my 10-year-old daughter found herself in an advantageous position, consistently acquiring various resources.

There were moments when she had so many resources that the bank actually ran out of cards for those commodities. She made a point to trade cards on her turn to prevent this from happening again.

In the game, trading is a key mechanic, requiring both parties to agree for a trade to occur. Despite this, everyone was eager to trade with her during the game, even when it didn’t always benefit them.

You might be wondering, “Dan, why encourage your daughter to make deals that don’t immediately benefit her?” Here’s the thing—she always had more than enough resources and chose to be generous, prolonging the game instead of ending it quickly. Her generosity paid off as others continued to trade with her, ensuring she received the cards she needed.

It was a lesson in the principle that the more she gave, the more she received.


How can we prioritize others’ needs over our own in simple ways?

  1. Allowing someone to go ahead of us in line is a straightforward gesture.
  2. Offering a ride even when it inconveniences us (like when we’re headed to church or work) is another way.
  3. Giving up our seats on public transport and standing instead shows consideration.
  4. Helping our neighbor by mowing their lawn, even if ours also needs attention, is a kind act.
  5. Choosing to let someone else have the last piece of pizza demonstrates generosity.
  6. Opting to walk so someone else can use our car showcases selflessness.
  7. Going a step further, giving our car to someone in need is a bold act of kindness.

Putting others first may seem easy, but it’s often challenging because we tend to be self-centered. If we don’t see immediate benefits for ourselves, it can be difficult to prioritize others.

Why do we work? To earn money for our livelihood.
Why do we own cars? To reach the destinations we desire.
Why do we engage in activities? We anticipate some form of personal benefit from them.
Given these natural inclinations, why should we prioritize others when our instincts push us to prioritize ourselves? How does prioritizing others lead to our success?
The game example illustrates this well, albeit on a small scale. If my daughter hadn’t traded her surplus cards with others, she wouldn’t have gained the resources she needed but lacked.
One crucial aspect to remember is that prioritizing others doesn’t mean neglecting ourselves. It’s about understanding that success and fulfillment often come from symbiotic relationships and collaborative efforts rather than purely self-serving actions.

Just as in airplane safety instructions: “In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling. Please secure your mask before assisting others.”
This serves as a critical reminder.

Here’s the rephrased version:
First, if you’re unable to help yourself, how can you help others?
Let’s delve deeper into this.
It’s challenging and unwise for people to seek financial advice from someone who isn’t managing their finances well.
Consider this: Would you heed advice on overcoming credit card debt from someone deeply in debt themselves?

Here’s the rewritten version:
If someone offers advice on business growth but their own business is struggling, would you value their input?
Would you consider getting advice on enhancing your company’s culture from a leader whose culture doesn’t align with your goals?
In all honesty,

It’s essential to ensure we’re on the right track before offering advice.
However, that doesn’t mean we can neglect others along the way. There are still ways we can offer help and support.

Tony Robbins suggests that if you dislike money, you may not have given away enough of it. Some might retort, “But he has so much money, so it’s easier for him to be generous.”

In the book of Mark, Jesus also touches on this idea. He sat down across from where people placed their offerings and observed as the crowd made their contributions to the temple treasury. Numerous wealthy individuals generously gave large sums.

However, a destitute widow arrived and contributed two small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Jesus, summoning his disciples, remarked, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has given more to the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave everything she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44) This remarkable woman had faith that God would continue to bless her and provide for her needs.

Today, I want to inspire everyone to actively seek opportunities to help others. Find someone who needs assistance and offer your help willingly. Identify individuals whom you can support and go the extra mile to assist them. By prioritizing the needs of others, you’ll experience personal growth beyond measure as you give more generously than ever before.

Enhance your faith-led leadership journey with God First Life Next. Explore empowering insights at “The Gift Of Giving” Let faith guide your leadership. Click for purposeful living at

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