Saturday, April 22, 2017

Michael Josephson: God helps those who help themselves

  Bart’s home was in a flood area. The water was a foot high when a rescue truck offered to help him evacuate. Bart refused saying, “God will provide.” When the levee broke he had to climb onto the roof. A man in a rowboat came by and urged him to get aboard but again Bart refused, “God will provide.” Finally, the waters rose so high that Bart had to climb to the top of the chimney. A helicopter offered help but Bart said no. Soon, the water swept him away. About to drown, he yelled “God, why have you forsaken me?” The helicopter pilot heard the cry and yelled back: “Forsake you? God sent you a truck, then a boat, then a helicopter. Now, use the arms he gave you to grab this rope!”

  Our safety and survival in life does not depends on direct divine intervention, but from our ability to see and willingness to seize opportunities to save ourselves.

  Our well-being depends on our ability to appreciate and use the resources we have. That’s the timeless message of the Wizard of Oz. The Scarecrow already was smart, the Tin Man was compassionate, the Lion was capable of courage and Dorothy only had to click her heels to get home.

  In our personal lives, and in the workplace, a pre-occupation with what we don’t have often sentences us to discontent and even failure. Instead of feeling cheated if we can’t find the flawless mate, trouble-free family, or ideal job, we need to have a stronger sense of personal responsibility to make our lives what we want them to be.

  Wanting, wishing, and worrying are useful only if they are the prelude to a planned course of action including the willingness to work and wait for what we want. As a famous golfer once said, "It’s amazing. The harder I practice the luckier I get.”

  About the author: Michael Josephson is one of the nation’s most sought-after and quoted ethicists. Founder and president of Josephson Institute and its CHARACTER COUNTS! project, he has conducted programs for more than 100,000 leaders in government, business, education, sports, law enforcement, journalism, law, and the military. Mr. Josephson is also an award-winning radio commentator.

  This article was published by the Josephson Institute.

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