The Quest For Dividends
- July 9, 2012
- Robert Tamasy
Anyone actively involved in investments understands the importance of dividends. One of the selling points of many life insurance plans, for example, is the amount of dividends projected for appreciating the value of the policy. And when we invest in individual stocks, or in more comprehensive mutual funds, we desire to receive the highest and fastest dividend rates.
We pursue other kinds of dividends as well. For instance, we strive to build beneficial relationships with customers, clients, colleagues, suppliers, sometimes even competitors, hoping these connections will pay “dividends” that enhance our business productivity and success.
We invest long hours on the job, dedicated to proving our value as employees, leaders, and members of the corporate team. Our hope is that this labor and devotion will pay dividends in terms of professional advancement, increased responsibility and authority, and greater compensation.
There are other kinds of “dividends” that cannot be calculated by a sales report, in an organizational chart or on a paycheck. For instance, dedication to physical fitness – through healthy eating and a consistent exercise program – can pay great dividends in terms of personal well-being, not only physically but also emotionally, mentally and socially.
All of these kinds of dividends, for the most part, are self-oriented. We want to get a reasonable return for our investments, whether they involve money, time, energy, or talent. But can we reap dividends from pursuits where the focus is to give – and not to get?
Yes we can, which is one reason Jesus taught, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Here are some practical ways for doing this that can pay great dividends:
Words of encouragement. In an age when we find ourselves surrounded by negativity, a few well-chosen, positive words can lift someone’s spirits – a compliment, words of praise or appreciation for work well done, assurance that the moment’s difficulties will not last forever. “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word!” (Proverbs 15:23). “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
Gift of compassion. When someone is confronted with adversity or pain, a caring, comforting word can provide needed strength and hope. “…so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).
Availability as a mentor. Those of us that have traveled further down the road of life have wisdom, experience and insights that we can offer through mentoring relationships, helping others through what life has taught us. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
A helping hand. Work seemingly impossible for one person becomes much easier when others committed to the same goal share in performing it. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.... A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
1. When you think of “dividends,” what immediately comes to your mind?
2. Do you agree with the idea that intangible, but valuable dividends can be gained by focusing on the needs and interests of others, rather than ourselves? Why or why not?
3. Give an example of something you did that resulted in unexpected dividends, whether financial, professional, or simply gratification for being able to contribute to the benefit of others. How did that make you feel?
4. When you hear the adage, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” what does that mean to you?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Proverbs 3:27-28, 11:24-25, 18:16, 20:15, 21:14, 22:9, 25:11; John 3:16; Ephesians 4:29