An ancient Buddhist text tells the story of a blind turtle living at the bottom of the ocean and coming up for air only once every one hundred years.
Also, in this ocean is an old wooden ox yoke, adrift and being carried about randomly by the wind and the currents. When the turtle surfaces, the chances of its head emerging from the water precisely into the hole in the yoke is almost inconceivably remote… about the same chance that any given soul will be born as a human being. The story is intended to illustrate that human life is precious and rare.
Empowerment coach and mentor Bernadette Sarginson sees understanding this ‘precious incarnation’ as the key to spreading well-being – especially where it’s needed the most. That’s why Bernadette strongly supports UN Sustainable Development Goal #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Well-being: paying it forward
Bernadette’s company, UK-based Spirit Level Success, focuses on long term change management, self-awareness and personal development for both groups and individuals. Her system is repeatable and sustainable, helping her many clients achieve lasting change centered around their well-being.
“When you feel good about yourself, no matter what your external environment or circumstances are, you are much more emotionally balanced,” she says.
She believes this not only can enrich the individual but transform their community as well. Self-esteem and a sense of well-being are contagious – especially among leaders and other members of the community that have a broader circle of influence.
This idea is the essence of why SDG #3 inspires Bernadette. Like her mentoring programs, ensuring health and well being is something that is scalable, spreading not just to other members of the society but to future generations as well. Bernadette’s personal experiences, both as a child and adult, have taught her how mental and physical well-being are intertwined and play a large role in a person’s self-esteem.
Business that matters
Bernadette understands the lure of profit and the drive of people in business to be successful, but she also knows that success these days must come with a strong sense of responsibility.
“We strive to be a business that matters, one that is driven by people and purpose, not one that focuses solely on the bottom line,” she says.
That philosophy carries over to the commitment of Spirit Level Success to embed giving into their business practices through B1G1. Supporting multiple SDG’s – but with special emphasis on Goal #3 – they fund a variety of projects, from children’s education in developing countries to the distribution of clean water. Bernadette hopes that these fundamental programs will be a way out of poverty and into the self-empowerment that comes with a sense of well-being for many people in need.
Bernadette encourages other small companies that are eager to give and make a positive impact not to hesitate. B1G1 makes it easy for organizations of any size to make a difference. This sustainable giving model allows businesses to scale up their contributions as they grow but still commit to giving if they remain small.
A legacy of empowerment
Bernadette affectionately counts her daughters at the top of her list of proud accomplishments. They are already carrying on her legacy, leading the next generation of young women in caring for others and for the planet.
Her passion for helping others build a foundation for self-empowerment through self esteem and well-being has helped her build a successful business and, more importantly to Bernadette, help many others along the way.
She hopes her self-help program – over 30 years in the making – as well as the giving projects that she supports will help people recognize their ‘precious incarnation’ on Earth, re-balance their lives, and eliminate self-doubt for an enriching existence.
And next time you see a turtle, think of the beautiful chance that you’re here too.