Answering Life’s Most Urgent Question

How to Answer Life’s Most Urgent Question Every Day of Your Life 

The greatest theme in Gifts of The Heart speaks to the most urgent question every human being must ask themselves. What are you doing to help others? Every day millions of people answer this question with noble acts and deeds, sadly most go un-recognized. But while acts of kindness and service seldom receive public recognition, the private rewards they yield are endless. A familiar passage of scripture describes the reward for selfless service to others. Matthew 23:11-12 “11The greatest among you will be your servant.12For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Charles Hargrove, a 20 year veteran of service embodies such selfless giving. Returning from three tours of duty in 2007, Hargrove battled with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Soon after returning home, Charles was fortunate enough to purchase his first home. Within a few days of becoming a homeowner Charles found himself standing before a Tornado battered residence. With the help of the community and admirable inner strength, Charles rebuilt his home, only for it to burn to the ground seven months later. In the midst of seemingly insurmountable turmoil, Charles decided to launch a non-profit organization, Wounded Warriors One Voice. His ultimate goal is to bring clothing and affordable wheelchairs around the country to restore the dignity of wounded warriors. Charles used his misfortune as motivation to do good in the world and serve others.  Find out more about Wounded Warriors One Voice at

Life often presents obstacles that seem unbearable, but the key to overcoming and becoming great is to serve through every stage of life. Not sure how to begin? Below are 10 ways in which you can serve those around you on a daily basis. Challenge yourself to complete all 10 each week. Share your experiences, serving others will radically change your life and I’d love to hear about it.

1. Smile

This is a great habit to develop to start each and every day and to practice whenever you have the chance.  The great thing is that smiling at others is easy and takes nothing but a little effort.  Nearly everyone responds to a smile and it makes you and the other person feel better immediately.

2. Hold the Door for Someone

Simple things are a great way to serve others and these little things can really make a great difference.  Stop and hold the door for someone whenever you get a chance and let someone go in front of you.  This sends a strong message and you can really bump it up by combining this with #1, a great smile with the door offer.

3. Help Someone get There

I mean when it comes to transportation or as a physical destination.  I have certainly benefited from the directions of others to help me find my way when lost. There are always friends, colleagues and family needing directions, a ride somewhere, or a pickup from a trip, vacation or event.  Perhaps it’s to be a designated driver for a group of friends.  Simply offer to help get them there where they want to be.

4. Buy Someone Lunch

Buying lunch is not that expensive, as many people do it everyday and when you have an opportunity when you are getting or eating lunch with someone, simply buy their lunch as well as yours.  Don’t offer, don’t tell them, just do it and don’t make a big deal about it.  Don’t say they can get the next one, don’t say they’d do it for you, just buy them lunch and leave it at that.

5. Offer Someone a Ride

Picking up a hitchhiker scares a lot of people and I will certainly include myself in that group.  However, offering a ride to someone in need is a great way to serve others and is a lot safer than we tend to think or what we are often taught about strangers.

6. Provide Road Side Assistance

People have car trouble all the time.  I’m sure you have at one point as well.  Whether it is changing a tire, jumping a battery or calling for an expert for a tow.  Stopping to help someone can make a tremendous impact on someone who is struggling on the side of the road.  This is especially true with accidents and is sad when people leave in a hurry when they should be stopping to help and offer a testimony to ensure people are not taken advantage of.

7. Mow Your Neighbor’s Lawn

Little things make a big difference and little things for a neighbor can turn an unknown neighbor into a great friend.  Mowing a lawn or raking some leaves only takes a few minutes to do, a little more than your own yard.  It looks better when lawns are mowed at the same time and while you shouldn’t expect it, often such favors will be returned.  I’ve experienced this one many times.

8. Invite Someone to Dinner 

An easy way to develop relationships is to have a meal together and so inviting someone over for dinner is a great way to serve them and that relationship. While working away from home one Thanksgiving Weekend, a colleague invited me over to share dinner with his family. It was an unexpectedly kind gesture, and I was very grateful to spend the evening in great company, have a home cooked meal, and spend time with his wonderful family. 

9. Give a Gift Card

Giving people in need a gift card can be a great help. Gift cards for food or stores where basic needs like clothing can be purchased instead of just giving cash to someone ensures you are giving them something that they will have to use for their basic needs. Most people are thrilled to receive the help and it makes it easier to know that the gift will not be spent on drugs or alcohol.

10. Help Someone Achieve a Goal

This is a favorite. People often struggle achieving their goals and every one of us can use help in some way.  Ask people about their goals and do what you can to help them achieve it. Perhaps you make a suggestion of where to start or some person to refer, a course or knowledge or some personal tutoring or action to help them with, whatever it is, helping people achieve their goals is a wonderful way to serve others.


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