What’s Your Footprint?

When we walk the earth, we can leave a footprint of our worth to others. The footprint is an impression in mud that can be easily washed away. The imprint is what we leave in the minds and hearts of others we interact with along the way. And quite often, what we do for them makes us memorable.

You know people whom you have never personally met, who have passed from this earth long ago, and yet it’s still their deeds that are the cause of how you remember them. You may remember Alexander Graham Bell when you make a phone call. George Washington, who helped found our country and was our first president. You may think of Steve Jobs, who helped bring new ideas in computing and entertainment into our world. These three people and thousands more are remembered for the work that they had done with and for others.

We need to consider what the footprint we leave behind will look like. It has been said that most people cannot remember further back than their great-grandmother. This is because family generations farther back either had very little or absolutely no interaction with today’s family members. Unless you directly connected with Margaret Wummer, you probably would not know her. Although she did incredible things, raising her children and grandchildren, helping in her church, and generously donating to her community.

It is essential not to keep our talents bottled up within us. We are here to work as a team and grow as cultures and societies. It is vital to work with others both for their sake and definitely for ours. The more we do, the more we touch other people. And, the more connections we have, the more likely we are to be remembered.

Keeping your talents to yourself means that you are the only one who ever benefits from them. That means you have a lot of good in you, which is never seen or used. People like to talk about the positives in life around them. They also tend to gloss over ordinary things and minorly annoying ones.

I’m not saying we all need to invent the computer or the telephone. Also, I think we might get in trouble trying to establish our own country. Yet, we can do what we can do to help others. And that is important because we know that there are times when we will need help ourselves. We are not trading; we are sharing. And I believe that’s why talents are given to us to start.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Is It really their fault?

Today I am writing my blog a half a day late.  I meant to be on time, only sometimes things happen that no one can control.  Earthquakes, tidal waves and even the generic band of thunderstorms, with hail and the occasional twister, are all things the average person cannot control. What happens is not what matters.  What we do about uncontrollable change is what matters.

We often, in a time of dealing with things beyond anyone’s control, focus our wrath upon the person that relays the information rather than taking a moment to think clearly. I wonder if this is how the phrase about not killing the messenger came to be?

If anyone hasn’t figured it out yet, the person relaying bad news has no control or power over the situation and no stature within their corporation to do anything. Why? Because if they had any of that, they probably would send someone below them out to relay the message. Again, why? Because it’s probably a guarantee that many receivers will take the information poorly and take their wrath out on the messenger.

If you want to stand out, thank the messenger and let them know you know the problem was not their fault. You know that they were only relaying information. In return, you may find employees who are more receptive to assisting you and solving the problem. Granted, it’s their job to do so anyway; however, feelings of mutual appreciation and understanding seem to rank higher and better solve problems when everyone works as a team.

I was told last night that my flight back to Colorado could not happen because the plane could not leave Chicago, the first thing I did was thank the ground personnel. I assured them that I knew this was not their fault and we work together to ensure that I would be back home before noon today. The bad news was not a failure, it was a chance for everyone to work together and make something good happen. Everyone I spoke to and worked with was sharp, on point, and never gave up.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

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