thinking of others

10 Ways to Know You Are a Man Built for Others

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” Are you a person who tries to leave a positive impact on those around you? Is thinking of others a concern in your life? We were not created to live isolated, selfish lives.

It is important to love yourself. It is equally important to love others more. The best men are the ones who are built for others. They are strong enough to put their own desires aside for the people they love. Here are 10 easy ways to tell that you’re built for others.

1. You let others have the last word.

Do you listen? When your kids are trying to convey a deep concern, do you hear them? So many conflicts could be avoided easily by truly listening. Instead of focusing on having the last word or making your point, exercise self-discipline and let them make theirs.

2. You own your mistakes.

Do you own your mistakes and failures? Are you a stand-up guy? Rarely admonished is the man who humbly admits he is to blame. Do not pass the blame when you drop the ball. Doing so can destroy others. The buck stops with you.

3. You smile.

A warm smile and a pat on the back never fail to encourage even the most downtrodden of souls. There are many who really need that type of encouragement, but none more important than your kids.

4. You use your talents for others.

We all have been blessed with certain gifts. How we choose to use them is up to us. One of the saddest things to see is people who use their gifts solely for their own personal gain. Selfishness and isolation is their legacy. Use your gifts for the betterment of others and it will enrich your relationships and your impact in the world.

5. You’re a mentor.

Use the wisdom you have gained through experience and find someone who needs it.

Use the wisdom you have gained through experience and find someone who needs it. Help them learn through your mistakes and triumphs. You can change the course of their lives.

6. You can put yourself in other people’s shoes.

How can you condemn without understanding? Too often we assume we understand someone’s story better than they do. Before you cast judgment on someone, perhaps consider that if you grew up in their environment and experienced what they did you would probably think and act as they do.

7. You treat others with respect.

If you want respect, you need to give it first. Respect requires little effort, yet the results are enormous—and in some cases, life-saving. A man who is about to take his own life might reconsider. He might be saved by just one person sincerely communicating that his existence does indeed matter.

8. You’re compassionate.

When others hurt, do you hurt with and for them? When you hear about the misfortunes of others, think about how you would feel in that situation. What would you want others to say or do? Say and do those things.

9. You give generously.

Think through the needs of others and do your best to meet them. There is no better feeling when you give something and it truly hits the mark.

10. You are always learning.

A man needs to continually feed his spirit and grow his heart. The best way to do this is to be aware of the issues and concerns of your community, your state, your nation, and your world. Never stop learning how to become a better you.

Sound off: What is the hardest part of focusing on meeting the needs of others?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why is it important to look to the needs of others before ourselves?”