I read an extraordinary example of gratitude and doing good in an article by Charles Krauthammer in the National Post last week.
It was the story of George Weidenfeld. An Austrian Jew who escaped to Britain at age 18 after Hitler took over the country in 1938.
George Weidenfeld was looked after in Britain by Christians. He went on to become a successful publisher, politician and philanthropist. He has helped many causes during his long life, in the United Kingdom, Israel and Europe. He has been made a life peer and is now Lord George Weidenfeld.
For the story of this remarkable man, read this article in the Times of Israel or go to the link in the first paragraph to the National Post article.
Now 77 years after being helped to survive the trauma of war, he is showing his gratitude by financing the rescue of persecuted Christians from Syria. Recently the first 150 were flown to Poland to start a new life.
Here is a man, one of the very few who live to 95, who is still repaying the gratitude he felt from an act of kindness a lifetime earlier.
He overcome the adversity of being a wartime refugee. He has been remarkably successful in his life and he is still helping other people less fortunate.
Achievement and gratitude.
It’s enlightening how often those go together.
Do successful people show gratitude by doing good deeds for others because they have the resources to make it easier?
Or do people become successful by having gratitude for what they have and doing what they can to help others no matter how limited their resources?
The more I discover about life, success and gratitude, the more I think it is that it’s gratitude for what we have to start with and what we do with it that leads to success.
What we do with it requires perseverance, determination and commitment, resilience too at times. But we have to start with acceptance and gratitude.
p.s. – Last week I wrote about Cecil the Lion from a contrarian perspective. Here’s a link to an excellent post in Africa Unauthorised by someone much closer to professional hunting and game conservation than the social media mob baying for a dentist’s punishment.
You can listen to the podcast of this post using the audio player below.