Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Monday, August 27, 2012

Come In Out of the Rain

     This morning we had one of those passing, scattered thunderstorms that can bring a ton of rain in a very short period of time.  I was out running a few errands when the downpour started.  It was raining so heavily that I could barely see the road.  When I returned home and began to pull into our garage, I noticed a young man standing under the overhang outside of the garage, trying in vain to stay dry.  It turns out that he was the PSEG guy (that's our electric and gas company in NJ) here to read the meter on the outside of our house.
     After I pulled into the garage, I went back to chat with him and told him that I'd leave the garage door open so that he could wait inside the garage and stay dry.  I then went inside and grabbed a bottle of cold water from the refrigerator and went back out to offer it to him while he waited.  He was quite appreciative.
     In my old company, we had a list of principles that we taught and practiced that were called our "Fundamentals."  One of them said, "Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest."  Some people would have been worried about allowing a stranger to hang out in their garage unattended.  What if he stole something or broke into our house?  I don't think that way.  I'd rather start from the assumption that he's a good person and treat him from that perspective.  I had no problem being kind to him and allowing him free reign of our garage.  I believed that he would repay my trust by demonstrating his trustworthiness.  I find that when we show kindness and trust, we receive kindness and trust.

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