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‘Putting people first’

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres says a number of people in societies do not feel they’re being put first but considered last.

In his remarks at Putting People First session of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina last Friday, Guterres says “the problem is that for a number of people in our societies, they do not feel they’re being put first but they feel they’re being considered last”.

No matter what type of work you do, putting people first   will do more for your long-term happiness and success than any short-term wins.

Moments of success are guaranteed not to last. It’s the human cycle to go up and down. But our values do last, and the impact of our actions last, too.

All around us, we see people trying to one-up others, get the better deal, find favours with the boss, or play politics with peers. That’s a mindset focused on winners and losers.

When we stand for the value of putting people first, we find inspiration in the good times and a lifeline of support and talent when times are hard.

It’s very important to listen to others and listen for the truth. They say, ‘the walls talk’. If you quiet your mind, you’ll realise how much you can know and understand by simply absorbing the messages around you.

The emptier we are of self, the more responsive we are. When you put time into listening, you’ll know what people are thinking and wanting, you’ll see where the passion lies, you’ll learn solutions to problems that have been sitting there waiting to be picked.

Caring is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength, and it can’t be faked - with the people we serve. Without trust and caring we’ll never know what could have been possible. Without freedom from fear, people can’t dream and they can’t reach their potential.

There’s need to be accountable to oneself and others. Only the truth sounds like the truth. No secrets, no lies of omission, no hedging and dodging. Take responsibility and say what needs to be said, with care and respect.

Whenever you have doubts about how to act in a situation, you are always on safe ground if you ask yourself, ‘What would I do if I put people first?’

‘Putting people first’ is progressivism revived and at its best.

The greatest delight of life is the feeling of being near and necessary to the people.

Often leaders are so consumed by their personal values and agendas that they expect their followers to be as excited about what matters to them. They get angry with followers who resist or refuse to keep pace. Those who align with their goals are celebrated. The rest are condemned as selfish.

The Dalai Lama once said, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to putting oneself first and others last. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves.

Putting others first should be the basis of every relationship. If a person truly cares about you, they’ll get more pleasure from the way they make you feel, rather than the way you make them feel.

Life isn’t always about pleasing yourself and that sometimes you have to do things for the sole benefit of another human being.

They say ‘a dog has one aim in life… to bestow his heart’.

If one’s love is only a will to possess, it’s not love.

If the entire world sought to make itself worthy of happiness rather than make itself happy, then the entire world would be happy.

Selflessness, humility and truthfulness – these are the three marks of an honourable human being.

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