One of the things that has become abundantly clear about modern humans is that there are definite rewards and consequences for the way we live our lives.
The most obvious example is the way we treat our bodies — this stack of protoplasm that drives our spirit around. Surrounded by plenty and extravagance, our eating habits can lead to longevity or brevity. We know that smoking shortens life, as does drug and alcohol abuse. And since more and more of us pursue a sedentary profession, lack of exercise can affect our quality, as well as our length of life.
Recently, a cardiologist friend told me that over half of his practice involved treating patients who were sick because of their lifestyle alone. A sobering statement.
But that is an example of what we do to our flesh and blood. What about that thing I mentioned that is driven around by our protoplasm, the spirit?
At this stage in my life, I’ve noticed that many people my age are emotionally and spiritually adrift. When I use the word “spiritual,” I’m not talking about theology, although that could be part of the equation.
In my anecdotal observation of this phenomenon of humanity, I’ve noticed that everyone I know who fits this “adrift” category has one thing in common: They have lived their lives without having anything in it that was more important than themselves.
This group was more likely to not have an active faith life. They were more likely to have not volunteered over the years for some social, community or religious cause that allowed them to contribute to people whom they would never meet. In short, they had spent very little of their lives putting others first, including their own children.
What have I learned from my observations? I’ve learned that just as we should nourish and exercise our protoplasm, making sure we avoid things that harm our flesh, we should also nourish and exercise our spirit. And in my opinion, one of the best ways to do this is to spend as much time as possible putting other people, and worthy beliefs, above our own immediate gratification.
What does this mean for small business owners? I think it means that we should take care not to let our precious business, that we have nurtured from birth and love so much, become the single most important thing in our life. This is a challenge I make to you and I also make it to myself.
Oh, and cut back on the doughnuts and get yourself to the gym a couple of times a week.