It was raining on a Friday. It was 6:15 in the evening when I got the call. “How fast can you be ready? The driver is on the way to pick you up for the opening night of the Jay-Z & Kanye West ‘Watch the Throne’ concert.”
Driver? Concert? Huh? I never called for a convoy or reserved tickets. What’s the deal?
As I sat stage-side witnessing hip-hop history unfold in front of me with two of the biggest artists of our time, I couldn’t help but wonder, “How did I get here?” I remembered Jay’s appearance on Oprah when he said, “I believe in karma and doing the right thing even if it may not advance you as far as you want. If every single person felt the same way about karma and intention, then the world gets fixed tomorrow.” Well the world wasn’t fixed, but my mood was as 25,000 people and I held lighters in the air reciting lyrics to “New Day” – a song centered on reaping what you sow.
Some people call it karma; I don’t. I don’t believe in karma. I believe in the Biblical principle of sowing and reaping. Reaping takes place in this life and karma takes place in an afterlife. I don’t believe our actions alone determine our place in the afterlife, I believe our faith does. We are all walking seeds and what we say, do, think and how we treat others is all coming back to us in this life – all of it. When we take The Golden Rule a step further and Do unto others better than we would have them do unto us, we create a space for reaping to be stored up for a rainy day.
As we left the concert in the rain, I realized this was my rainy day. The way I treat people, love people and care for people – the way I’ve been taught to give to others, as I’d want them to give to me – just a portion of the very principles on etiquette I teach in my book, all came back to me Friday night. The phone call, the driver, and the ticket – none of it was random. I was simply reaping what I’ve sown.
Before the concert started, we realized we had an extra ticket. Instead of attempting to profit from it, we decided to place the ticket behind a specific place outside of the arena and post about it on Twitter. Whoever found the ticket could have it. It was my attempt to give back just like I had been given to. It was an effort to make someone’s day just like mine was made. “Thank you so much for the ticket! I can’t believe you left it and I enjoyed the show”, was an update from a stranger I read on Twitter.
Hopefully this story prompts you to do for others, as you would like them to do for you; you’re really doing for you when you do for others after all.
A special thank you to Bentley Motors of Atlanta, Live Nation, Tiwa Works, and Stan Mukoro for making my day.
– Enitan Bereola, II
Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario, public speaker and entrepreneur. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up, Guide to Ladies’ Etiquette from a Gentleman’s Perspective. Find him at his new website bereolaesque-online.com, or @bereolaesque on Twitter as well as his Facebook fan page.