If you’ve followed my blog for a while now, you may know my husband and I are fans of old western TV shows.
The other night, we watched an episode of Death Valley Days, which are said to be true stories of the old west. The episode we watched was the story of a woman who raised horses and sold them to the Union Army. The Confederates were out to get her and sent two men on a search and destroy mission.
These two men hatched a plan to get her alone in her home, and then, kill her. I won’t bore you with the details of how they did that, but just as he is about to fire his weapon and commit murder, her mare whinnies loudly. The horse is about to give birth and the woman has sensed she’s having trouble. She begs for her life and for his help. They rush to the barn and, of course, save the day. After the filly is born, you can see a transformation in the Confederate soldier. He says something to the effect that he’s spent a lot of years killing, and each time it got easier. Now that he has been witness to birth, he can no longer take her life or anyone else’s. She sends him on his way before her ranch hands return because they will kill him!
Here’s my point of sharing this story.
Most of us don’t spend our working hours in this kind of life or death situation. We are faced with the choice of building people up or tearing them down. I believe tearing someone down, especially someone with whom we disagree, gets easier and easier each time we do it. Supporting people, being kind and considerate, not sharing the latest gossip, can be hard especially with someone we disagree with or dislike.
My challenge this week is for you to build someone up. Choose someone you don’t know well, someone who may be different from you in gender, race, creed or color, and ask how you can help. I’m going to challenge you to go beyond opening the door for a stranger at the coffee shop or putting your spare change for the local food pantry in the fish bowl on the convenience store. Listen to the colleague who has a different point of view about the project and see if you can find points with which you agree. Offer to stay late and help someone you don’t really like and see if you can find a new way to relate. Avoid sharing the latest gossip. Whatever it is, go for it!
Come back and post what you did!