I cannot stop thinking about the remarkable conversation that my friend and podcast co-host Tyler Goold and I had the other day with Dave Hill. For fans of the Richest Men In Town podcast, it was Episode #20 “I Choose to Carry Hope”. Somewhere in the course of our conversation he was talking to us about an unfortunate thing that had happened recently at work. Professionally, he develops online video content that promotes mental health and social emotional learning (huge props to Heartsmart and our buddy Boris!). Crucial work, especially considering the challenges of our days. Tragically, his studio was recently broken into and they took all of Dave’s equipment, including the hard drives that held hours and hours of unpublished content. In an instant, the work that he had poured the last few months of his life into was gone.
As he told that story, I empathized with him and even felt anger thinking, “How could someone do such a thing?” Then Dave said something like, “You know, it’s okay because it gives us an opportunity to re-record the content and make it even better.” I stopped him mid-sentence and asked how he could possibly have such an optimistic attitude about this situation. That’s when he reminded Tyler and I of an important lesson. He said, “Look, when hard things happen in my life, I always ask myself this question…What will my response do to my heart? If it will make my heart hard and cold, I know it’s the wrong thing to do. I always guard my heart and do whatever I can to keep it soft and open.”
I love that approach to life! Think about all of the challenges and all of the opportunities that we have to harden our hearts, especially nowadays. Dave’s actions were a powerful example and reminder to me that even though the situations around us may be dire and 100% out of our control, we are 100% in control (and accountable!) for how we respond. Further, our response could have lasting effects on our hearts!
The very next morning (there are no coincidences!) after we recorded our RMIT episode, I read these words from Alma 34:31 in The Book of Mormon:
“Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.”
Of course, I took a pic of that verse and I shared it with my friend and his response back was one word, simple and to the point…“Beautiful.” He’s right. It is beautiful and true. May we guard our hearts and do all that we can to avoid the temptation all around us to harden our hearts. As we keep our hearts soft and open, we will hear God and His Son in our lives and we will be able to love and serve those around us.