Advice from Bert

When speaking with residents, they often talk about the many lessons and core values they have gained throughout the course of their lifetime. Bert, a civil engineer, recounted his simple and rather minimalistic approach to life. After detailing the small joys of his childhood playing basketball and going to the movies every Friday night, Bert left me with one seemingly simple piece of advice.

“Be a good person and help people out when you can. Even when you’re having a rough time, remember that there are always people struggling more than you are.”

Seems simple, doesn’t it? Ever since our childhood, we are always told in some form or another to do all good and avoid all evil; lend a helping hand whenever we can. But how many of us actually live this belief to the fullest? Inevitably, we succumb to that small bout of selfishness once in awhile out of expediency.

In my conversation with him, Bert seemed to embrace this mindset as a life philosophy. If an aged man who lived through a world war can manage to demonstrate generosity during a period of scarcity, we, the fortunate generation full of opportunity, should endeavor to serve others in addition to our own interests.