“It doesn’t matter if I’ve been wronged — I still have a responsibility to use my influence in a way that never causes harm.” — Shaun King
You must take extreme ownership of everything in your life – every thought, word, action, behavior, and habit – not only for yourself but for others as well. Taking responsibility for everything, big or small, communicates a supreme form to love to people, both near and far.
At one point in time, the Brazilian soccer star Pelé was so popular that he was in a position to charge a fortune to advertise commercial products. Yet he never put his ethics and values on the line; he never gave an endorsement to any products containing tobacco (especially cigarettes) and alcohol. When asked, he put the reason behind this in simple words: “I love kids.” A very thoughtful response, indeed.
Even though Pelé endorsed countless products and made himself a thriving brand over the years, he was always inclined to be a role model for young people. In his autobiography, he wrote, “I never endorsed a product I did not believe in or use, and I never endorsed any product that had any connection with tobacco or liquor of any type.”
Pelé was aware that he could easily command a king’s ransom for certain products, and knew that his true fans all around the world would buy anything with his name or iconic signature on it. But he loved kids too and wanted to be a guiding light for them. Keep in mind, we’re talking about a man who came from abject poverty, yet no amount of money or perks could dissuade him from not saying or doing something that would mislead young people or cause harm to their health and well-being.
To love is to be responsible in every possible way. Every choice we make, from daybreak till night, whether it be the food we eat, the hobbies we pursue, the things we give importance to, the movies and shows we watch, the people we look up to, needs our utmost awareness and vigilance. Every decision, little or big, matters! To strive to become a better person and inspire others to become their refined selves is the real expression of love. It’s not a cakewalk for sure, but which worthwhile pursuit truly ever is?