To quote the KJV Bible in Acts 20:35, Jesus Christ said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." To quote John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address of 1961' "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." One more quote made famous by Albert Einstein, "The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable receiving." These three men didn't share a whole lot in common. Their passions, interest, and personal lives were all different, but they all seamed to understand one universal truth. Giving anything to anyone, is much better than waiting to receive. It's much better because its positive, it helps others, and something magical happens to the giver... they are in turn blessed back. I am sharing this with you guys on my "Tuesdays with Eli" for a couple reasons. One, I'm seeing first hand right now in my life how this basic principle works. Two, I'm hearing the stories first hand of my friends and family that are also working this principle, and three, I hope that this blog post might inspire someone to do the same. With all of that said, I am young and naive to a lot of things in this world. Yes, I did just read a couple books recently that jazzed me up and made me think that it is that easy. But, I'm just telling you from what I am experiencing, that this stuff does work wonders. Community: Most of you may know that for the last couple months, I have been organizing and inviting fellow photographers to a lunch meet-up once a month. A bunch of like minded photographers sit down and eat and share with each other. I think this is great for the photography community here in Little Rock, and the feed back that I'm getting is that everyone really enjoys it. I hope that I helped give just a little to the industry. I gave a little bit of my time and now I'm reaping HUGE benefits. I now have more photographer friends who all bring something unique to the table, and I'm also feeling much more comfortable meeting new people. If there are any new photographers reading this that would like to join us in our monthly lunch, please let me know. Shoot me an email, tweet me, or facebook me.
Helping: I am quickly learning that every successful person has only become successful because of inner drive and more importantly the help of the people around them. The tricky part to this equation is that you must help others before looking for help yourself.
Sharing: The photography industry is not exactly the same as it used to be. Modern technology has forever changed the face of Photography. Blogs and social media have made sharing information just about as easy as tying your shoes. However, people still wear slip ons....don't they? Sharing is super easy and everyone has something to share. Photographers in this age will NOT survive by hoarding up all their tips and advice because the don't want others to know their secrets.
Giving: Just do it. It feels good and good things happen to you when you give. I could share with you all the great things that have been happening to me because of giving, but I'm trying to wrap this thing up. Plus I bet your thinking I'm just going over and over the same stuff by now. Give... just do it.
Growing: Like most of the photographers I know, we are never quite satisfied with our work. I'm always looking for ways to grow and master my craft. Reading books, watching instructional DVDs, taking pictures, and trying new things are all great ways to get better. However, don't forget about the other ways to grow. "Let the information flow both directions."
My sincerest thanks from the bottom of my heart to every single person that has ever affected my life and helped me get to where I am today. - Eli : )