Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Putting first things first

I heard a man say once upon a time that there is only one job wherein you start at the top. That is 'digging a hole.' It is hard to argue with such logic. On any project we first have to lay some plans and then put all the elements in place one by one.

The third habit of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is putting first things first. There are building blocks to life. Some of us come by them naturally. If you are a great mother or father, then chances are that you were raised by a great mother or father.

My son at this very moment is the criminal investigations lead on a tragic murder this morning in a neighboring county. He got the call at 4:00 AM to go to investigate this murder scene. It was a double homicide wherein a 62 year old man was killed along with the boyfriend of his daughter who was also attacked. This all according to WCTV reports. There was a little one year old child present. The presumed perpetrator has been arrested and imprisoned. One has to wonder how in the world something like this occurs. This action is duplicated many times over, every day across this land of ours. Something has gone terribly wrong in the setting of priorities in the lives of these people. It pains me that my son has to wade in to try and find patterns in a crime of this nature. He did, however, go through an immense amount of preparation to be in a position to do this sort of work. He had to attend a law enforcement academy and seek statewide certification and then put in many hours of his life in climbing the ladder of experience to become a detective.

There are building blocks with every occupational pathway. I have always found that one of the most effective ways to get along in life with others is to place others first. I used to be a disciple of Zig Ziglar the famous pitch man, positive thinking guru. He said that in order for you to get what you want, predominately in sales, was to help other people get what they want.

The Master said " The first shall be last and the last shall be first." When I think of that scriptural declaration I cannot help but think of a man whose name I do not even know. It goes back to the air crash of an Air Florida jet flying out of Washington that went into the Potomac river in the dead of winter. There were many boats and helicopters quickly to the aid of the victims. There was one man who when he was handed the end of a rope to save himself, quickly handed it to a lady who was in the water with him. He did not even know her name. As she was being hauled to safety he slipped under the water to his death.

I can agree that this particular habit is a tough one. It entails overcoming our inherent selfish nature. I cannot think of anything more difficult to do. However to master this habit surely sets us apart from the rest of the herd.

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