There are literally thousands and thousands of questions that when asked, open the door to change people’s lives in a big way. It’s true: Consider these obvious examples:
- “Can I give you a million dollars?”
- “Will You Marry Me?”
- “Are you ready to become a mother/father?”
- “Do you want to learn how to scuba dive?”
- “Will you promise not to break my heart”?
- Would you like fries with that?”
Okay, maybe the last question won’t change anyone’s life, but what about the others? Can you see how the finality of the answers to such big life questions could make a massive difference for both those asking them, and those to whom they are being asked? I’m sure you can, as these are “pretty huge” questions, and ones that probably wouldn’t be asked on a daily basis, right?
But what about the more common, “not-so-big” questions in life – are they as important as the big ones? You know, I’m talking about questions like:
- “May I get the door for you?”
- “Would you like me to help you get your groceries to your car?”
- “Do you need some help getting dinner ready?”
- “Would you like me to look after the kids for an hour so you can get your errands done?”
- “May I spend an hour and visit with you this afternoon?”
- Would you allow me to buy your coffee today?”
While none of these questions are really that life-changing, they all have two things in common: First, they are all offers of selfless service on the asker’s behalf; and secondly, there are many, many opportunities to ask these kinds of questions to people we know, – as well as strangers – each and every day.
And despite these questions not being exceptionally “life-changing” per se, asking them WILL inject some kindness and joy into the lives of the recipients, and that’s my point here. Every day we are all surrounded by opportunities to be of service to others, however because the actions required are usually such small gestures, most people don’t notice or take action towards them.
For Example, we…
- Let doors close without taking the 10 seconds to hold them open for the next person
- Don’t notice the elderly people struggling with bags of groceries in supermarket parking lots
- Come home “expecting” dinner to be ready, despite the fact our spouses have had busy days too
- Neglect to recognizes those same spouses might need a little uninterrupted time without the kids for some “me”time
- Ignore the embarrased guy at Starbucks who is short a dollar for his coffee, and impatiently watch as he shifts through his change trying to make it up
It’s true! As a society we just kind of “zone out” during these times and we miss huge opportunities to make small, but important differences in some peoples lives! But what if instead, we collectively made a pact to change this habit of ignoring people who needed a little bit of help or service? What if we all began asking those little questions that offer moments of “Selfless Service” to our fellow mankind?
What if the question “How can I help?” became a oft-used part of our daily vernacular? Do you think that single tiny shift in our vocabulary actually change other peoples lives for the better? Or that if we all did this, that our society would be a little bit nicer place to be? I believe it would; and while the changes might not be in the same vein as “Can I give you a million dollars?” or “Will You Marry Me?” sized questions, I can promise you they would still bring joy and happiness to the people who are being asked the questions, and at that very least, you’d make somebody’s day a little bit brighter.
Oh, and that “Hidden Benefit” I was talking about earlier? It’s the feeling you’ll get by asking these kinds of questions that offer service to others; this act alone sets in motion a chain of warm feelings and joy… and isn’t that an awesome benefit just for being a good person who helps out others in need? You bet it is!
As Tony Robbins says, “Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers” And if a question that promotes service to others isn’t a “quality” question, I don’t know what is!
Readers: What small, random acts of kindness or selfless gestures or questions do you like to ask in order to help out those around you? Please let us know in the comments below.