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Candle loses nothing by lighting another

CLIFF CHIDUKU 

People cannot survive or succeed in an endeavour by not receiving assistance from other people.

To be a better person or to be successful, we all need the help one way or the other from people around us.

It is not always the case that if one works hard on his/her own, one is guaranteed to succeed; we always need someone to help us cross the Rubicon line.

There is a saying that goes “a candle loses nothing by lighting another”. This statement which is attributed to American James Keller shows that if you assist someone, you lose nothing by doing so.

We will always lose absolutely nothing by helping others to become who they are meant to be.

However, to truly embrace this mindset you must understand how pervasive it is and how to begin to appropriate it consistently.

A story is told of Kenyan athlete Abel Mutai who was just a few metres from the finish line, but became confused with the signage and stopped running thinking that he had completed the race.

A Spanish athlete, Ivan Fernandez, was right behind him, and after realising what was happening, he started yelling at the Kenyan for him to continue running so that he would cross the finishing line.

It was unfortunate that Mutai didn’t understand Spanish so he could not get the message.
Fernandez eventually caught up with him and instead of overtaking him (that was the logical thing to do), he pushed him so that he romps to victory.

An enraged Spanish journalist asked Fernandez: “Silly; why did you do that?”
Fernandez replied: “My dream is that someday we can have a kind of community life where we push and
help each other to win.”
The incensed journalist insisted: “But why did you let that African win?”, Fernandez replied, “I didn’t let him win, he was going to win.”
The journalist insisted again, “But you could have won!”

Fernandez looked at him and replied, “But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honour of that medal? A candle loses nothing by lighting another.”

Whether this story is true or imaginary there is a moral lesson behind it. The lesson is that there are right ways to win and vice versa.

We all have leadership roles in our circles so helping someone next to you by sharing knowledge, kindness, encouragement and positive energy does not cost you anything, but provides you the reward of satisfaction. When we enlighten others with our candles, the room brightens for everyone as our gift is amplified.

Modern leaders are embracing the use of “passing of candlelight” philosophy as part of their rituals and ceremonies.

This philosophy also refers to the passing of values, wisdom, ideals, and support to the next generation.

Values are transmitted from generation to generation.

As leaders, what values are we teaching our subordinates? As parents, what values are we teaching our children? Let us not teach them wrong ways to win.
Lifting others up, especially young journalists has been a bit of a journey for me.

I have and will not allow jealousy and insecurity to stop me from supporting and celebrating others around me.
If we can look at the word “Team” and try to define each letter from it, we will realise that we both need each other to achieve our goals.
We will realise that we can do more as a team. As the word itself says, Together Each Achieve More “TEAM” shows that we can achieve more when we help others.

Look at the soil, a very good example of a candle that lights another, it supports everything on and in it and it also benefits from that support. In home language Shona, there is a saying that goes; “Chara chimwe hachitswanyi inda” which can be loosely translated to mean that one finger cannot pick a bean.When we help someone, we
lose nothing, but gain something that we sometimes cannot see impromptu. For example, if you know a chapter from a book, the more you help someone to understand that chapter the more you know it much better than before.

Remember a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle, but it becomes brighter than before.
Let’s succeed together.

Cliff Chiduku is a communication, public policy and governance expert. He writes in his personal capacity. Feedback: [email protected] or Call/ App +263775716517.


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