Date Added: September 2016
During my recent third trip to Kenya where we do humanitarian work for clean water and economic development, a village elder shared wise guidance to follow in our work and home lives.
Philip revealed three items to living a good life. Being 76 years old in a small Kenyan village is an accomplishment, so his words are worth heeding. “Take care of your health, manage your stress, and do things that make you happy.” Simple words of wisdom relating too absolute physical, mental and spiritual health.
Also shared was the belief that children are born with their fists clenched because each child is holding his/her own gifts from God to share with others throughout one’s lifetime. Given my prior articles on effectively using gifts and strengths at work and with others, this belief was fascinating and relates to our daily lives.
Lastly, it was recognized that the work done in the past four years will make the village wealthy in 10 years. While many are pleased about the wealth, it was cautioned that peace and love must always remain – although the difficulty will be ensuring this way of life endures.
You see, this village is filled with peace and love. They have a lottery system to determine which family receives clean water – not a popularity contest. When a family is selected, all villagers are happy that a family receives clean water, and everyone helps install the water cistern.
In the U.S., are we happy when someone else receives something we want; much less do we seek to help them? In this village, there is a group celebration filled with joy and happiness with each cistern installation. Knowing wealth may destroy this, maintaining the culture of peace and love for future generations is important.
This is no different than positive corporate cultures and promoting teamwork within organizations. Positive cultures filled with caring people working toward common objectives as a team will always be more successful than weak cultures led by arrogant leaders who promote competition among employees.
Philip’s words of wisdom and the village culture ring loud for all organizations, leaders and individuals to follow.
David Yeghiaian is committed to inspiring others through faith and leadership. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.