Being Religious vs Actually Doing Good

We are going through some tough times so I thought I would share a short true story that happened to me, a thought for the day as it were…

One day on a cold Sunday morning, while living in the USA my vehicle broke down and I could find no way to get it started especially because it was an automatic.

At the time we were on our way to church and my wife and child, just a toddler, were in the car.

Not one person stopped to assist.

It was more, the church we were going to was about 2 miles from where I stalled so I asked my wife to stay with our son until I got help.

I walked to the church and upon entering I could never forget… I saw three men.

They were in their well dressed suits and they were familiar to me because they were part of the hierarchy of the church.

At the time, I mentioned what happened and it brought on a few odd chuckles but not one of them offered to help.

So here I was… in a church and walked back out to the cold and back 2 miles to the car.

I told my wife what happened and then pushed the car into what was a nearby garage.

We then all walked back home, luckily it was not too far away.

Almost two decades later, a similar situation but this time in Trinidad and the middle of a local plaza and in front of a busy shopping area the diesel fuel pump on my truck died.

It is a computerized pump so at the time there was nothing visible to see or fix to get the truck started.

So there I was trying everything I knew to get the truck moving and it would not budge.

What do you think happened next?

That is right… my Trini brothers of all walks and backgrounds came to my aide.

One even brought a can of spray and assisted me in blowing it through the inlet to get it started.

He noticed I had gloves on was telling me that he is just like me… he does not like grease on his hands

But when he was in school he liked a girl in the mechanics class so much that he joined the class just to be around here.

He said one day his teacher noticed his nonchalant demeanor about the subject and asked him…

Why are you really in this class? He named the girl.

We bought laugh at what women can make us do and then proceeded to get the truck moving.

What a contrast of stories. One in the USA of church people who were no help, and one in Trinidad where I got all hands on board from strangers plus made a friend.

Leaders Setting The Example: Showing Temperance

This is José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano or just José Cordano for short. He is the former president of Uruguay.

While in the position as president of the country José Cordano lived in an old cottage in the countryside.

Even though he could have been chauffeured he chose to drive his old model light blue Volkswagen beetle from his home to work and back again.

José Cordano gave 90% of his salary to charities that directly helped people in need.

When he left office he even refused his pension hoping that the state would have better use for it to help others.

No one in the world had seen a leader of a country choose to live as simple as everyone else.

José Cordano was there to serve not to gratify himself with luxury.

Even so he became famous because of how he lived and carried himself.

Sometimes he would even turn up to meetings in sandals and simple attire while the rest of his colleagues were in suits.

All of this made José Cordano’s light blue Volkswagen beetle world famous so when he left office he was offered US one million dollars for it.

However José Cordano turned it down saying he would much rather use his car to carry his three legged dog instead.

While many could debate the quality of his past and politics one thing no one could question was his temperance.

Meet Mark Rutte, he has been the Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2010.

While he could use a luxury car to sit in and be chauffeured he chooses to ride a bicycle to work while dressed in a suit.

When I was in England I used to ride a bicycle in a suit for many miles, it is not such an easy task but it gets you to where you are going.

One great thing about it is you are right there with the people… they see you and you see them.

Mark Rutte, experienced the same. When asked about it he said he chose to relieve some of the congestion of traffic people face and help the environment.

While I cannot rate Mark Rutte’s leadership or past decisions no one can argue with his temperance on this point.

We can never find all the qualities we want from someone in leadership simply because no one is perfect.

However, I can assure you that people do observe that if anything is asked from leadership then it is expected that it counts for ALL.

When I say all I mean ALL… not just a few. Great leaders usually are unafraid to make the same kind of sacrifices that they know the people make.

One of the definitions of temperance… is the quality of moderation or self-restraint.

Jack Kerouac once said, “If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.”