Sometimes when you set out to help yourself, you end up helping Tutti.”
I’ve just finished watching the DVD of “Eat, Pray, Love“, based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book of the same name. I read the book a couple of years ago and loved it, and I bought the DVD as soon as it came out – but for some reason, I never got to the end of it. Until today.
There was a section towards the end of the film that brought tears to my eyes, where Liz asks all her friends to make a donation, in honour of her birthday, to help a friend in Bali buy a house for herself and her daughter, Tutti.
She says: “When I was in Italy, I learned a word – ‘tutti’ – which means ‘everyone’. And that’s the thing. Sometimes, when you set out to help yourself, you end up helping Tutti.”
What struck me is how we usually set out to help others – and sometimes fail, because our focus is in the wrong place. I’ve been aware, for a long time, that the most “successful” people – the people who have the biggest impact in the world – are not necessarily the people who set out primarily to help others.
They are often the ones who set out, with a clear vision, to make a better life for themselves by doing something they love. As a result, they create a more positive space around themselves, which in turn creates a better environment for all.
How would it be, if everyone created the perfect environment for themselves first? What if they put on their own oxygen mask first – like they tell you to on airplanes – before trying to help someone else?
Would a world filled with happy, fulfilled people be a more peaceful place? Or would it create tension because people want different things and will fight each other to get what they want?
I don’t have the answer.
I just know that I want to learn how to set out to help myself first, in the hope that, by doing so, I will be better able to help others.