When I'm saying, "Be first," I'm not saying stomp over people at all costs to get the best seat in the theatre, or run over others in pursuit of the latest product, or even risk death while passing the shmuck who's going five under the speed limit. Nope, not at all.
Be first... to reach out.
For majority of my adulthood I lived under a couple of assumptions:
- If I was wanted, I would be invited.
- If someone wanted help, they'd tell me.
Both statements focus on the receiving end of the giving equation.
Do you see the problem with this? If most people operate under the the same assumptions , we're all focused on receiving waiting for someone to initiate. With an abundance of receivers there's a certainly a steep shortage of initiators, those that are first to reach out. While we wait to receive, it can lead to depression, thinking that no one wants or needs us - or at least it did for me. But in reality that's farther from the truth, they're thinking:
- I don't want to be a burden.
- I don't want to mess up her day.
- I don't want to invite myself.
Assumptions build walls.
There's assumptions on both sides of the equation that can paralyze the two, givers and receivers, to make a bridge. Do you see them?
The initiators assume they aren't wanted; the receivers assume they aren't wanted.
Interesting, huh? It sounds like some movie plot: boy like girl; girl likes boy - but each thinks the other doesn't. Until one is about to leave the country and decides to waste thousands of dollars by missing the plane in order to "sweep the leg"... wait I "crossed the streams." ....
There's room to be first.
Understanding that the majority of people struggle with feeling unwanted, that gives us courage to be first to initiate a conversation. Be first to extend acceptance. Be first to encourage.
This reminds me of a verse, when God acted first and we felt unwanted:
But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
- Romans 5:8 (The Message)