80% of success is showing up.
I was angry. My business day had barely begun and I was livid. I had an important presentation and my whiteboard was not installed. The office manager had promised several times over the past month to get it done but there it sat, useless on the floor. I was calculating whether I had time to drive home to get my own tools when she walked in. Before I could vent my disappointment I noticed that she was carrying an electric screwdriver.
Together, we quickly hanged the board while she apologized. “I had to get up at 4:00 a.m. to drive our daughter to my mother’s house because her father didn’t come for her last night.”
I was immediately relieved that I had not shown my anger. I–my meeting–was the reason she had gone to extraordinary lengths. And why a little girl had been taken from her bed and into a cold car during the night.
In the small world of my requirements and concerns the office manager was unreliable. In the fuller context of life she was determined and resourceful.
I try to remember this incident and be more compassionate when evaluating people’s behavior at work. What they do in the office does not tell me who they are. Some people are already heroes by the time they arrive at the office, just for showing up.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
Widely attributed to Philo of Alexandria
This is not a matter of virtue. It’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.
People who can adjust their natural default setting this way are often described as being “well-adjusted,” which I suggest to you is not an accidental term.
Couldn´t agree more…Great!
Thanks Tony. I also have to remind myself of people’s greatness from time to time.
What a great post, Tony. I could feel my own anger rising with your every word only to come in for a crash landing at the end of the story. Sometimes you just never know . . . providing the benefit of the doubt is a good policy to live by. Thanks for the reminder.
What a great story. The universe keeps giving us opportunities to learn a lesson. It is very patient. Good to know you are part of that ‘universe’. Although for different reasons, I needed to hear a story like this today. It has helped me re-focus my day.
What a terrific reminder. It is so easy to be so caught up in your own world that you miss the small, but extremely significant, acts of others. Thank you!
What a blog should do.
Well done. Here’s another great kindness quote:
Don’t be yourself – be someone a little nicer. ~Mignon McLaughlin
Great story to remember.
Great reminder. It goes along with the practice of tipping big for a waiter or waitress who seems out of sorts or forgetful. Instead of taking a pound of flesh with a small tip, be generous and maybe even ask them how their day is going. You never know where that can lead or who you can bless.
Love your newsletters. Wonderful story. Thanks so much.
Very wise message, Tony! Thank you for sharing that story and the quotes. We just never know what someone else is dealing with.
Thanks for sharing the experience and the wisdom gained!