I often overhear conversations in public settings about “what’s wrong with the world”. When we imagine there to be a problem, we actually create it. We must remember that.
On a wonderful Saturday morning, while I was “busy” editing my Video blog post for the week, there was a wonderful sight outside my office window, which has a view of the front porch.
Two smiling gentlemen approached, unaffected by the dog gate they spanned, and knocked confidently on our door.
Because I was totally Present in and seeking Connection with Life, I saw the insignificance of my “video editing effort”, and abandoned it immediately. I beat them to the doorbell, sensing this was going to be special.
Although only 15 years old, Jacob and James (siblings) radiated positive energy and confidence that surpasses most adults I interact with. Their smiles were magnetic. You could feel their excitement for life – to Contribute To life and earn a reasonable wage in return for the Value they create.
“My name is Jacob and this is my younger brother James. What’s your name sir? … David, Do you have a car we could wash sir? We are out to help the neighborhood and get paid if you like our work.”
They named the price – quite reasonable – but I immediately planned to double it if I experienced what I thought I would experience. I wasn’t disappointed.
Jacob, older by a few months, gladly assumed the role of Leader. It wasn’t a show. I listened to their interaction privately, out of their line of sight.
Jacob showed genuine concern for a job well done. He was quick to explain “why” he asked James to adapt his watering, soaping, scrubbing, and drying approach. It was wonderful to see the emphasis first on “delighting a customer” and exceeding customer minimum expectations.
About half way through, Jacob highlighted his goal to delight me, and in return, hopefully receive future business from me. “We’d love to come back in a couple weeks and help you out again, if you’ll let us? We also mow lawns and do other chores.” Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!!
Jacob naturally conveys an Ownership mindset. Holding self accountable to meet and exceed the value expected between customer and service provider. Not yet caught up in “Process, Policy, and Politics” of Corporate America. He exhibited the inherent, natural qualities we ALL once possessed. What he has that many of us more jaded adults now lack, is his Innocence. Jacob assumes nothing. He strives to Connect with life, engaging it head-on, welcoming feedback and adapting quickly to that feedback. [as a Leadership Development Advisor, you can imagine I had a couple of pointers to offer]
The only thing more wonderful than Jacob, was his brother James. He exhibited humility, persistence, and openness to the feedback from Jacob. James demonstrated “faith in the cause” and saw THRU the environmental noise for what it was … environment cues for disconnection and ways to improve the situation for all. James was magical and essential to this service experience. His quick adaptation to the direct advice from Jacob, and the indirect advice from me through Jacob, demonstrated Life’s goal to CONNECT. James saw through Jacob and sought genuine connection with me. Although, to the unaware viewer, James’ humble approach to the work would be misconstrued as submissive or passive, James was the most wise soul in this scenario. He strove to just Connect, while Jacob and I were constantly navigating the conditions of that Connection.
During the course of OUR daily events in life, we adapt the role we play.
Some of us seek to Act out the scene, while others insist on Directing the scene. Most of us are Patrons, watching “the play of Life”, hoping the scene to be scripted, Acted and Directed so skillfully, that us Patrons might actually forget that its not real. We wish to be entertained. LIFE wishes to play things out, in order to experience Life. The all-too-familiar plot has never gone stale for us Patrons, Directors and Actors …
Scene 1 – the heroes and villains are introduced
Scene 2 – life turns against our heroes in some way
Scene 3 – conflict occurs and we are left to wonder … Why is this happening, How will it resolve, will everyone be ok? [although, we fool ourselves into believing we wish to see the Villains fall]
Scene 4 – conflict is resolved, and the polar sides of Life REUNITE
Scene 5 – reflection by both sides, as they realize they are really ONE and the same, and that the Goal of Life requires the Play to go on. They tip their hat to one another, and they agree to engage in the Scenes once more in their near future. Perhaps different combinations of Actors and Directors next time.
The key is knowing your Present-Moment role in the play of Life, to admit it, first to self and then to all others, and then to fully own the Scene.
As the experience was wrapping up, I acknowledged the beauty of Life as drawn out by Jacob and James, by saying … “You fellows are wonderful. I really enjoyed your confidence and interaction with me. You were incredibly mindful by seeking to understand and connect with me. You are absolutely wonderful young gentlemen. Please let your father [an usher at a local church near MLK elementary] know that David’s experience of you both suggests that he had a wonderful part in shaping you fellows to fearlessly engage the world. Wonderful guys! Absolutely wonderful!”
I thought briefly to myself … What a great example of entrepreneurship in a society which many people label as Self Entitled and corrupt. Again, let us remove all of the labels we apply. Jacob and James are “good” because they’ve held onto their Innocence – which strives for Connection with all of Life.
My hope for all of US, is that we see [remember] the beauty in Innocence and that we strive to reclaim it for our SELF.
Jacob, James and I paused for a picture and they left me yet another [I’ve had thousands since age 6] spine-tingling realization of how wonderful Life is, can and should be, when we first strive to BE Present and fully Connect with each other.
Who is writing that script on Life’s Grand Stage?
… Dare to ask this, question your initial thought, and debate your perspective with others. But don’t just observe the script passively?
If you’d like my opinion on this crucial question, seek me out at my next speaking event. ; )