Why your life motto can’t just be a wristband #helpinghouston

Courtesy of the San Angelo Standard-Times

Years ago, a friend of mine had on her I Am Second wristband. She went to the airport. I can’t remember where she was going. She got her boarding pass, checked in her bags, and proceeded to the security lines. She got up to where you pile all your stuff on the conveyor belt to run through the scanners. And a TSA agent happened to glance at her wrist.

“Don’t let anyone tell you you’re second, girl!” she said. “You’re first. Don’t be put down like that.”

At first, my friend didn’t understand what the agent was even talking about. Usually, the TSA folks are about excited to be doing their jobs as we are to be standing in their lines. Interactions are mostly limited to them ditching the half empty water bottle you forgot in your backpack. But this lady was so shocked that someone would proudly claim second place, that she stepped away from her screen and spoke up. She feared for the emotional well being of my friend.

But, that’s when my friend got to explain what the wristband really meant. It’s a thing, nowadays, to wear your cause on your wrist. It’s a way to define yourself, to differentiate, and express yourself. It’s a way to shout to the world your life motto. And for my friend, that motto was simple:

“I Am Second.”

God above all and others before herself. She is Second. Not first or third, fourth or seventeenth. It’s a statement of both humility that life is not all about ourselves and our own self interests. But, also of pride and purpose, that we aren’t some insignificant peon for the universe to expend.

And, if you’re reading this post now, you understand what I’m saying. You’ve been inspired, or at least intrigued, by this philosophy of life to wind up here, reading the stories of people who make it their aim to live Second.

But I want to push you to go beyond inspiration and interest. I want to challenge you to live Second. If you’ve ever worn an I Am Second wristband or T-shirt, if you’ve ever volunteered at an event, shared a video, or claimed to be Second, then I’m talking to you.

You’ve seen it in your social media feed and on the news. Right now, an entire city is under water. The people of Houston, TX, even as we speak, are watching as their homes, livelihoods, and cherished possessions wash away in the deluge of hurricane Harvey and its tropical storm remnants.

We recently launched a simple and practical way for you to live out the motto stamped onto your wristband or tattooed on your forearm. Second Helping brings practical household help to veterans, single parent families, seniors, and those experiencing financial difficulty. It’s a simple, effective, and real way to put your money where your mouth is.

We’d like to send in armies of handymen to help piece together the lives of those affected by this storm. But that will only happen if you step up. Whether you’ve got $5 or $5,000, you can bring the real help people need. Right now, people there are fighting for survival. But soon it will be time to rebuild. And when that time comes, we want to be ready.

Stop reading the news and start making some. Step up and give. You have an opportunity to fix what’s wrong with the world. And you can do it, one small household project at a time. So give, live Second, and change a life.

Click here to step up and give or text HelpingHouston to 555888.

Doug Bender is an I Am Second writer, small groups coach, and author of I Am Second: Real Stories. Changing Lives. and Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First.

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