I ask of you a favour.

I don’t feel comfortable jumping right in and telling you how to feel valued.

I once read an account of what happened to the people in Adolf Hitler’s gas chambers in Nazi Germany in the 1940s. From what I remember of the article, people were led into the chamber thinking they were about to shower. When gas started jetting from the ceiling’s outlets the prisoners realised they were being gassed to death. There was panic, and some people tried to reach a small ventilation grate high on one of the walls. The dying ones fell and the living ones stood on them to get higher, and closer to the grate. As more people died, the pile got higher. Finally, even the last ones on top of that pile succumbed.

I occasionally ask myself, ‘Would I have clambered onto dying people in a bid to stay alive? Each time, my answer is: probably. There is nothing special about me.

I also remember a time when I was a young boy at our primary school fete. I bought a ticket in a ‘spin-the-wheel’ raffle and my number came up. I proudly took home a meat tray, then went back to the fete and bought another ticket. I won another meat tray. I took that home too, even prouder. I went back and bought a third ticket. This time I expected to win. But when I didn’t, I was disappointed. Then an old man tottered towards the wheel and collected his meat tray. I still remember the enormous smile on his face as he carried it away.

I also saw myself: I saw my greed. I had won two meat trays already and had expected to win a third, with no thought for anyone else. Had I won that meat tray, that old man would have missed out on something special. I felt awful.

I may well be the type of person who would stand on a dying person if my life depended on it, but I will not be the person who would push someone aside when my life does NOT depend upon it. Nor will I be that little boy at the fete who took and took.

Why do I tell you this?

As I say, I don’t feel comfortable jumping right in to tell you how you can feel valued. I want to take a break from helping you. More importantly, I want you to take a break from helping you. Remember those lines at the beginning of the section by G. K Chesterton? “We are all in the same boat, in this stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.” Yes, it is important for you to feel valued, but what is important for you is also important for others. If we are all in this same boat together, in this stormy sea, then let’s not just look after ourselves. I don’t want you, for this entire book, to focus solely on yourself. It’s not my way and I don’t want it to be your way.

So, please, indulge me. Please do not be that little boy at the fete who focused only on how he could benefit. Please take a break from working on your personal growth to help others in their personal growth. In the next chapter, let you and I focus on helping others to feel valued. Let us express to them our ‘terrible loyalty’.

Further, please don’t just read the next chapter and move onto the next. Like every chapter in this book, it isn’t meant to simply be read. Benefits come only when we apply what we learn.

If you get into the habit of applying the material in the next chapter, people will benefit. Will you benefit too? It doesn’t matter. Do it for them.

See you in the next chapter.

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