Saturday, February 11, 2012

This week's Pep Talk: "Pick One"

I want to start this week’s Pep Talk with thanks to you. Our conversations - phone, email, face-to-face, letter - surrounding unique, challenging and inspiring experiences - yours and mine - often trigger these musings designed to encourage others to play like champions wherever roaming - home, work and elsewhere.

That is certainly the case this week. What started as a simple phone call to discuss a business project quickly became far more relevant. What emerged from a lengthy chat - more life than business - is, at least for me, a great love story centered on service to others. The storyteller is a woman, spouse, mother and friend. The dynamo was describing a family event from a few years ago. You know, one of the moments we encounter in life that leave us wondering, “What the heck is going on around here?”

How storyteller and devoted spouse dealt with the deep cut and lasting scar, again, at least for me, represents two incredible expressions of concern for others. Thinking beyond ourselves. The story began with hubby informed a lengthy and successful career had been terminated. We’ve all been there, right? Those times in life when something cherished is taken from us, unexpected and unwanted? Sure we have. It sucks. The question becomes, how are we going to react, right?

Well, this adoring grandpa, hurt deeply an employer no longer valued him, knew devoted bride and family had other important matters needing attention: their son’s wedding 800 miles to the east. The storyteller explained, on the couple’s long drive to America’s heartland, husband uttered nary a word about his personal pain. In an incredibly loving gesture, a man knew his bride of 35 years was focused on the wedding. He didn’t want to muddy the waters. He stood down for a greater cause. Impressive if you ask me.

The story got even better. Once the wedding was complete, with grand success, husband informs wife of the situation. What she did next was just as, maybe more, impressive. Without her husband’s knowledge wife marches into husband’s former employer and informed the boss, in a one-way conversation, she is married to a honorable, loving and integrity-filled man who walks that talk daily. Remember the 1960‘s hit song, Stand by Your Man by Tammy Wynette? In the court of public opinion, this could be Exhibit A.

The power of standing down and/or standing up! Where might it be time to stand down for another? Stand up? Where is it time to put welfare and concern for others before self? One of my favorites statements in the best-selling book ever written on wisdom is in Galatians where we’re challenged: “Never grow weary of doing good for others because at the proper time we’ll reap the harvest if we just don’t give up.”

I’m just a simple dude from Missouri, but a man standing down for his wife and a woman standing up for her husband seems to fit the “never growing weary of doing good” criteria. It’s reaped a harvest for these incredible human beings: more than three decades of loving and committed matrimony, two beautiful children, three grandkids, community respect and exciting business projects. In my book, they’re turning life’s lemons - heck with lemonade - into sweet and savory margaritas. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Stand down. Stand up. This week, pick one. Take action in loving service to another. Rarely, if ever, is that a bad thing. Have a good week!.

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