It is a beautiful thing to create, to produce, to go out there in the world and make a contribution.
But it is just as important, if not more so, that we help others to do the same — that we teach others to create and produce, that we encourage them, that we support them and help them to succeed.
by Leo Babauta
Why? Why not just worry about our own creations and productions? What’s so important about helping others to succeed?
If you think of your work as a contribution to the world — great or small — then you can say you’ve made X amount of difference in making this world a better place.
But if you help 5 or 10 people make their contributions, you can say you’ve made perhaps 5X or 10X amount of difference in making this world a better place. You multiply your contribution.
And if, in doing so, you teach others to help still other people create and produce and make contributions, you’ve just added an exponent to your contribution… X squared, X to the power of 3 or 10 or whatever the number might be. Okay, I’m not great at math, but you can see the point: the amount of difference made in this world not only multiplies, but keeps on multiplying beyond you.
Unfortunately, many people seem to have a problem with this concept. They tear people down, block them, hoard the goods for themselves, and are jealous of the success of others.
We need to break free of this jealousy and meanness. We need to learn to be happy for others, and what’s more, to count their success as our success and feel proud of the contribution we’ve made in helping others make a difference.
So go out in this world and create — make something brilliant, whether it be a piece of art or a book or music or a wonderful new invention or a world-changing business or whatever it is you do in the world.
But go beyond that. Teach others to be brilliant and make a difference. Encourage them to create, support them, give them a boost, help them succeed. And teach them to do the same with still other people.
The world will thank you for it. And even if you never receive thanks, know in your heart that you’ve done some good, that you’ve lit your light in this world that will last beyond your mortal years, that will continue to grow and burn brightly long after your dust has returned to dust and blown away in the wind.
This article was first published on February 27, 2009