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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Humanitarian Aid in the Fast Lane?

by Dustin:

This past week we were in Salt Lake City on a family ski trip. On Sunday, we went to Music and the Spoken Word (where my four-year-old applauded every performance) and then walked over to Temple Square to take a picture with the Christus and look at the statues of the prophets on the bottom floor.

While we were in the Food Storage and Humanitarian Aid section of the Visitor's Center, I came across this wall of ideas for ways to help others in need and found the most unusual suggestion. The writing on the wall states the following:

"When we help those in need in the way the Savior taught, we give of our energy, skills, and possessions in a manner that leaves the receiver more self-reliant and leaves us happy because of our sacrifice. In this way all are truly blessed."

As I walked the length of the wall, I found ideas such as "be a friend" and "visit shut-ins." Others included "taking a meal to the sick" and "volunteering at the local school." Most ideas seemed intuitive. Then, tucked just to the right of the computer screen I found this:

What ...? Drive considerately? Since when is this a form of humanitarian aid?! I considered for 30 seconds why this would be included alongside "contribute to a charity" and "teach someone to read" on the wall of humanitarian service but dropped it when my son needed to use the potty. Maybe it was just put there to torment me, given my propensity to match the maniacal driving style of my fellow Houstonians. Regardless, it instantly became my go-to strategy for serving others in 2014. I will drive more humanely.

That said, I'd be interested to hear your opinions on why this fits with other, more obvious methods of giving aid. And yes, that is "kindness" spelled with one "s."

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Dustin currently lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and four children. After serving a mission in Puerto Rico, he set the tone for a happy marriage by failing Dating and Marriage Prep at BYU-Idaho. He then showed why this happened, dragging his family around the nation with nine moves in seven years, all in the name of figuring out what to do with his life. He found his way into leadership development and now works at YES Prep Public Schools training teachers to be leaders and as a private consultant for businesses and non-profits. He especially enjoys helping people figure out their best-fit career and get into it and spits serious game on the topic at He loves bacon, Dallas sports teams, and long walks on the beach. Email him at dustin (at) petersonleadership (dot) com. Twitter: @dustin_lead.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif Image credits: post author

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