Some of the best advice I’ve heard in a long time

Good morning and happy Sunday,

For forty years my father and I had incredible 49ers season tickets.

When the 49ers moved to Santa Clara last year, we were given the chance to move with them and keep our seats. The asking price for what’s called “a personal licensing fee” (short for “Our fans will pay to build this ridiculous stadium not us”) was $60,000 per seat. I’m not kidding.

We said no.

I’m so incredibly grateful on this beautiful Sunday morning that I didn’t purchase those seats and I don’t have to go watch this horrible team play!

What are you incredibly grateful for today?

So the other night I went to dinner with my sister and her husband. We were joined by some of their friends as well.

Before I explain what happened next, it’s important for you to know that my sister and her husband are not only very wealthy, they are two of the most generous, giving people I have ever met. They have multiple foundations, endowments, scholarships, charities, and causes that they support year after year. They both sit on a myriad of boards and give hour upon hour to those in need.

What I’m saying is they give a lot to help make this world a better place.

It’s within this context that I share what happened next at the dinner table.

The conversation soon turned to the state of the affairs our country and the world is in and “what can be done about it.” My brother-in-law then said something that really shook me. He said, “Remember at the end of the movie Schindler’s List when Schindler says, ‘I should have done more’ (and this is after all he’s done and sacrificed to help these people). That’s how I feel. That’s how I think we’re all going to feel at the end of our lives. I should have done more.”

Again, this is a man and a couple who give tirelessly all the time.

Man, this hit me hard. Not because I’m not doing anything to try and help make this world a better place. I actually became an actor 28 years ago for this very reason and all these years later, I know I’m helping many people through my films, plays, children’s shows and teaching.

No, his comment hit me hard because I think he’s right. I think no matter how much we give and do to serve and help, we can always do more. And in the end, we’ll wish we had.

And I don’t mean laying some guilt trip on ourselves over it or becoming obsessive about it, “I need to do more. I’m not doing enough!” I mean in a healthy way asking ourselves, “Is there something else I can be doing to help this situation, this cause, this person?”

Many of us are spread so thin it feels like we don’t have the time or energy to give anything to anyone.

I get it. I’m spread pretty thin myself these days.

And forget giving money away. That feels impossible for most of us. Instead we say to ourselves, “I’ll start giving some money away when I get more of it first.”

Again, I get it, but what would happen if instead of giving away lots of money and lots of time and lots of energy, we chose instead to give away lots of kindness? That’s free, right? We don’t need lots of time, energy, and money to be nicer to people.

In fact, it doesn’t cost a thing to help someone put their luggage in the overhead bin as they get on the airplane.

It doesn’t cost a thing to say hello to every person we pass as we walk down the street.

It doesn’t cost a thing to let someone into our lane while driving or not tailgate them once they do.

Being kinder really would change everything.

Try it today. Try being kinder to everyone in every situation and see what happens. For one day, be able to answer “No” to this question: “Could I have done more today to help this world by being kinder.”

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback so please if you haven’t yet joined our Artistic Family Facebook page (it’s a closed, private group btw) then please do. And if you already have then I’d love to hear from you.

WEBINAR UPDATE Our Q&A Webinar was a HUGE success. We had dozens of you there with lots of wonderful questions so thanks to all who were able to participate! And for those who couldn’t attend, we recorded the whole thing and we’ll be sending you a link soon.

I’ll see you next Sunday so until then my best,

Jim

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