Sunday, January 8, 2012

This week's Pep Talk: "High Alert for Good"

Billy Joel and his band are entertaining with The Ballad of Billy the Kid in the background and your humble correspondent has just returned from harassing the neighbors for a bit. In truth, I went up the street to say thanks for them watching the house while I was away and, in case I didn’t see them later in the evening, wish “Happy New Year” as Twenty Twelve rolls ashore in our lives.

“How was Chicago?” wonders a devoted wife, mother and friend with a grin. “Did you have fun?” Let me tell ya folks. It was awesome. There are many to thank but one stands above: my darling girlfriend, Kathy. We’re in the Windy City - for its politics - visiting her family and the love of my life surprises this simple dude from Missouri with an extra special present once we landed at O’Hare: 22-year-old son Kyle secretly flown in from Los Angeles for the week.

I didn’t have a clue but apparently many close friends in Denver and Chicago also helped mightily to pull this off. I was shocked. Kathy and I are sitting in the car waiting for brother-in-law Victor - married to the one-and-only Mary, Kathy’s sister - supposedly fetching one of his state managers from another flight. Kathy tells me, “Hey, you have one more gift to open here in Chicago.” It was Christmas Day afternoon. “Oh, yea, what’s that?” I wondered. “Turn around” she directs. I had no response, just a big holler. My son, two days past his 22nd birthday, was sneaked into town thanks to an incredible woman. No wonder so many people in the staffing business love to work for her. She has a very big heart and enjoys doing good things for others. I’m the lucky recipient in many ways. Yeah me.

Trust me when I say this, because it’s the truth, while writing the first draft of this Pep Talk, Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon was playing from the Ipad. That is Kathy’s favorite song. Is that luck, or something else? I say the latter but also understand others think I’m crazy too. That’s okay. I would say, and it’s just my opinion, our desire to promote unity of spirt would benefit greatly if we focused on doing good things for each other. It’s always been a favorite Bible verse for me, Galatians 6:9: “Never grow weary of doing good things for each other because at the proper time you will reap the harvest if you just don’t give up.”

Kathy Gans walks that talk daily. Lucky me, my kids and many others whether family, friend or business associate. We can too. We can decide the best strategy is doing good. While there is no guarantees of success, it sure makes life fun. Sure, we get burned, perhaps too often, but the rewards are worth the effort. My darling girlfriend knew what it would mean to me to have my ambitious, fun and focused 22-year-old son close for a bit. We had a blast with others we love dearly.

We’re challenged to “never grow weary of doing good for at the proper time we’ll reap the harvest if we just don’t give up.” That word “proper” has always fascinated me. Who decides when the time is proper? Anyway, the point is this: Kathy Gans’ bone-marrow belief of never growing weary of doing good makes her the apple of my eye. Who out there in Twenty Twelve could use, in healthy and productive ways, a loving booster-like mentality from us? Home, work or elsewhere?

Where could perhaps a loving gesture from one of us bring great joy to another? Let’s make sure we look around for opportunities. I share water and mud with buddy Bill McCartney often and when talking about being receptive to something his eyes grow wider while declaring, “Have your reticular activating system on high alert!” Amen buddy.

This week have that “reticular activating system on high alert” in doing good for others. It works!

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