By Kay Caldwell
This week I seem to have been struggling for inspiration for this article. Then something amazing happened. I stopped at the barbeque place to pick up some food to go. There were two women in the line in front of me talking incessantly. There was a man waiting on them behind the counter. Another employee came up and asked for my order, which I gave. Then, one of the ladies left. I said to the woman remaining, “I am sorry I ordered before you. I thought you two were together.” She replied in a warm and humorous fashion, “As I was telling her, honey, I am getting a mastectomy tomorrow. Do you think I really care if they serve you first?”
You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone behind us in line all of a sudden lost that look of I am in a hurry, get on with it. I was speechless. I immediately took a deep breath and answered, “Wow! I am so sorry. I wish you luck with it.” She thanked me and said, “But how about prayers instead?” I told her, “Yes, absolutely. I will pray for you. I will pray for your healing and for a miracle.” She graciously thanked me repeatedly.
I hardly got out the door until tears started steaming down my face. I began to pray for her immediately as I promised. While I was at it, I prayed for the whole world to be free from cancer. I continued and asked that there would be no more suffering in this world. I continued to cry. Then, I prayed there will be no more abused children, no kidnappings, no divorces, no drugs, no sadness, no fear and no war, only peace. It was like all the suffering I know of came streaming down in tears and became part of this prayer. A place like that would be heaven. God was probably thinking, “Whew!”
I know we can make this world a better place. It truly doesn’t matter what your faith is or how you practice it as long as you believe things need to change. Each of us and together, we can change what is not working in our world. It is our responsibility. I show this great DVD in every class and speech I present. It is called Excelling by Dr. Robert K. Cooper. One of my favorite lines from the film is, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Two weeks ago I spent an incredible five days in New York City with my son. We saw a couple of awesome Broadway shows. Have you heard of Wicked? If you haven’t seen it, I promise not to give too much away. It is about the good and bad witches in the Wizard of Oz. As it turns out, the bad witch was born green. She put up with a lot of rejection. Now ladies, listen to this. The guy that fell in love with her told her, I don’t care about the color of your skin. It is okay. I simply learned to look at things in a different way. So she was green and still got the guy! However, his remark stuck with me. How would your life change if you just started looking at things in a different way?
My conversation with the lady in the barbeque place caused me to look at that situation differently. Finding out what she was dealing with completely changed my perspective. I challenge you to start looking at people and situations in a different way. Don’t be plagued with your habits and your comfort zones. Be the change you wish to see in the world. The smallest act can make a world of difference. Value others and yourself. Know that everyone around is exceptional in some way, if just someone would notice. As leaders, and we all are, whether you lead at work, at home, with your family, whatever the case, we are responsible for the way we handle things and for the way we treat people.