STRIVE TO BE A SERVANT

Strive to be a servant? What kind of goal is that? It is a great goal actually. Recently, I was listening to a video by Inky Johnson. If you do not know who he is I urge you to look him up and give a listen. In this video he said two things that really struck me.

The first involved a game in which his dreams for a NFL future were dashed. Inky was projected to be a first round pick and had dreams of taking care of his family. With one tackle he lost the use of one arm and thus the ability to play professional football. While being carted off the field he asked the doctors to raise his arm for him. He said he wanted to reassure the supporters. What really struck me was why he chose that particular word. He said he did not like the word ‘fans’ because these people paid to see him play and they supported him. I began to think about all the people who purchased my book. Then I began to think about all of those who read, comment and share my blogs. Although not financial, this support means the world to me. Without an audience writing becomes nothing but a self-indulgent fantasy.

The second point he made was how he is referred to now. He mentioned some people refer to him as a ‘motivational speaker’. He referred to himself as a servant. He said if we are blessed with gifts that sharing them and using them to serve our fellow man is what it is all about. That brought to mind two quotes many of us know “With great power comes great responsibility” and a quote from Einstein. One of the smartest people who has ever lived was asked, “Why are we here?” His answer without a moment of thought was “We are here for the sake of others.” His efforts to better the universe and to solve what some thought were unsolvable problems were for the sake of others. To make the world a better place for everyone.

Think of what your gift is? How can you use it to serve your fellow humans, or animals for that matter? Using your gift to serve others is what life is all about.

USE YOUR PAIN

This man is Inky Johnson. I highly recommend you look up his story, but I will give you a brief outline here. Inky was born into challenging situations to say the least. A very poor neighborhood, 16 people living in a two bedroom house. He had to sleep on the floor. Once a week he got to sleep in a bed…with 5 others. He was surrounded by family and friends going in and out of prison. Truly a recipe for disaster.

Inky decided to take a different path. At the age of 7, with some help from a coach, he decided he was going to play professional football. He practiced every day. Often running light pole to light pole with no shoes on. Eventually he received a scholarship to the University of Tennessee. With 8 games to go he was told he was going to be a first round pick. Imagine being told finally you will be able to erase generations of hurt, pain and financial suffering for your family. He immediately called his mother and grandmother to inform them they would no longer have to live in poverty.

Two games later while making a tackle that all changed. Inky felt like he had the wind knocked out of him. He woke up in the hospital where he was told he had to be rushed into surgery or he would die. Waking up from  that the doctor said he had some bad news. Considering he was still alive, Inky was confused. The doctor explained he had sustained nerve damage and would no longer be able to play football again. Imagine being that close to helping your family, having worked all your life, never cheated and it is stolen away in one play.

The reality of what he was left to deal with sank in when the doctor informed him “Son, you will never be able to use your arm again. You will never be able to use your hand again.” Inky’s reply?  “No disrespect sir, but I am going to use this arm and hand everyday. I am going to use it to inspire people. I am going to use it to help people not give up.” Today Inky Johnson is a motivational speaker and has several videos on YouTube.

When I heard that I had to fight back tears. Wow. I pray that I would be able to see things that way. Which is ironic, because that is what I am challenging all of us, myself included, to do here today. We have all had pain in our lives. Most of us not to the magnitude of the story above, some even worse. My question to you is this, what are you going to do with that pain? My answer is this, you went through the pain, put it to use for you. Use what you have went through to inspire and push you. Use it to motivate and give hope to others. DO NOT WASTE YOUR PAIN.

Maybe someone broke your heart? Use it to not only motivate you to make your next relationship your best relationship, but to help those who are also heartbroken. You lost your job? Use that as a tool to motivate you to chase a job you would enjoy. Do so while maybe helping at a meal program helping those who are in an even tougher situation. Turn your pain from a liability into an asset.