When Benevolence Is Greater Than Greed


As a motivational speaker, I am always telling my audience to “broadcast your inner champion.”  By that, I mean for them to explore and identify who they are.  I remind them that they must know their familial and cultural connections and how they make up who they are.  Having done that, I then ask them to explore how to branch those connections out to others, thereby “broadcasting” their self-awareness, and demonstrating the responsibility that comes with understanding those connections.

In short, our lives, at their greatest, provide benevolence for people OTHER than ourselves.  It is the pinnacle of the concept of yin and yang…of reciprocity and living in spirit and purpose.

As much as I have trained to do this, and as much as my life experiences have prepared me to teach these concepts, every once in a while I am humbled by someone who simply LIVES them.  I was so humbled when I read about Allan Guei in the July 29, 2011 edition of The Week magazine (It Wasn’t All Bad – page 2).  Mr. Guei, a Compton High School graduate in Los Angeles, won a free-throw contest – earning a $40,000 college scholarship.  Later, however, he received a basketball scholarship to California State University – Northridge. 

Mr. Guei was under no obligation to return the money earned from the free-throw contest.  So what did he do?  Instead of keeping it for himself (aren’t we taught to MAXIMIZE our profits at all costs?), Mr. Guei donated the contest money to the seven runners-up.  Here’s what he had to say:

I’ve already been blessed so much and I know we’re living with a bad economy.  This money can really help my classmates.

Yes, as Americans we are taught to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, protect our individual and family interests, and let the other guy worry about the other guy.  If he falls, then it was his fault anyway.  So why care?  Well, thanks to Mr. Guei, we are reminded that one person falling is EVERYONE’S problem.  Directly, or indirectly.  He also reminds us that when benevolence is greater than greed, America becomes better today than it was yesterday…and we come that much closer to the dream promised in our Declaration of Independence.  So go ahead Mr. Guei, broadcast your inner champion.

Sound Off!

Broadcast Your Inner Champion


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