Kenneth L. Hardin: Will you be able to find your gift, share it? – Salisbury Post
By Kenneth L. Hardin
I honestly believe that each of us is born with a purpose or gift to make this planet a little better during the brief time we occupy space on it.
Some of us understand our purpose and work to make it a reality while others resist that purpose and spend our lives held hostage by the mental anguish of suffering from choosing not to use this gift. . Those who resist their gift rationalize and explain this by blaming society, the system, the white man, the crab mentality, and any other available crutches they can lean on.
I recently celebrated the funeral of a good man. I asked those present to look at their lives and ask themselves if they would be satisfied with the life they led during that dash between their birth and their death?
I also talk about it with my family from time to time. I tell them I don’t want a big funeral or any service where people get up and try to shout, shout, sing and preach to me in heaven or listing my community involvement and accomplishments. I’d rather people remember me saying, ‘He gave of his time, he gave of himself and he stood for something. He strove to make this world a little better for his fellow man, and he succeeded.
Why would anyone want to put themselves in a position to give their time and energy to others? It can be a thankless job. We know the pay isn’t the best, the job might not be that glamorous, and I’m a living example of how stress can seriously affect your physical health. The answer is simple. The reward of knowing that just by giving a little of yourself and your time, you could have a positive effect on an individual or on society as a whole. Not everyone has what it takes to belong to this exclusive group. There is a character trait that I attribute to people who sincerely believe in giving themselves to others. It defines the true spirit of an empath and someone who has a real gift for caring. It’s compassion.
There is a story I often use in speaking engagements that defines compassion. A tired nurse was coming to the end of her long shift in a hospital intensive care unit. She was caring for an elderly man who was nearing the end of his life. His eyesight was nearly gone and his general health was also poor. The compassionate nurse knew he probably wouldn’t last the night, so as she left for the evening, she leaned down and asked the old man if he needed anything.
He gently forced the request in a frail, barely audible tone that he wanted to see his son one last time. The sympathetic nurse walked out into the hallway where she saw a young man sitting on a bench wringing his hands and tapping his foot nervously. She grabbed the young man in a hurry explaining to him: “Your father is dying and wants to see you one last time.
The compassionate young man sat down at his bedside and wrapped the old man’s frail hands in his strong grip. He leaned over and whispered, “It’s okay, I’m here now.” All night he laughed, cried, sang and prayed with the old man. The next morning, the same nurse came in and saw that the young man was still there. The old man, however, had died during the night.
The nurse put her hand on the young man’s shoulder and offered her deepest condolences to the son for the loss of his father. The young man stood up and said, “That wasn’t my father. Until last night, I had never seen this man before. I was here with my wife who was delivering our first child when you approached me. I had a son while I was here all night with him.
She asked him why he stayed all night with a stranger. The young man said: “I knew his son couldn’t be here and he really needed him. His eyesight was so bad that I knew he wouldn’t know I wasn’t his son. I don’t think anyone should have to laugh alone, cry alone, or die alone. I have a whole life to live with my new son, but he only wanted one night with his. It’s compassion.
The pressing question is whether you will realize your purpose and use it to help others, or will your name be added to the roles of nameless and faceless drains from society who offer nothing relevant or relevant to this world?
Kenneth L. (Kenny) Hardin is a former city councilman and member of the National Association of Black Journalists. He can be reached at hardingroupllc.com.