This is the time of year most home owners are focusing on getting their yards looking good again. Many of us are seeding, re-planting, trimming, raking, mowing… and mowing…. and mowing! The poignant thing is, living things keep growing, the weeds continue to pop up and everything needs to be watered regularly as well as trimmed. It takes maintenance and consistent effort to keep a yard looking good.
A visit with my husband to one of our favorite yogurt shops compelled me to reflect and write on the topic of Integrity. This shop is a favorite of ours for many reasons. It has great service, is very clean, offers several choices, and provides an uplifting atmosphere. During our visit, we noticed something different from the moment we walked in. The floor was very dirty, the toppings were low and mixed together, and the cashier (who usually greets people as they come in and makes sure the counters are clean and the spoons are all upright and in the same position) was busy talking to his friend and was not the least bit interested in the customers or how the shop looked. A few moments later, I realized that two of the yogurt machines were frozen. I “interrupted” the cashier to ask for help with the frozen machines. Long story short, we finally got our yogurt, paid, and sat down to enjoy it. The challenge was that I could not enjoy mine. With the dirty atmosphere and my frustration rising, I continued to watch the cashier be uninterested in his work. Then, the straw that broke the camel’s back happened. It was about 10 minutes from closing time and I saw the friend of the cashier go over and help himself to a large serving of yogurt and toppings without paying. I could not be in integrity and remain quiet any longer.
If you are alert and open, you can find connections to the things you are most passionate about just about anywhere. For me, it happened again a few nights ago as I read “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss to my kids. Like many, I was given this book as I graduated high school. It’s a favorite of ours and we come back to it often.
As I read, I found myself thinking about how good leaders find their way out of confusion and ‘slumps’. Many of us can relate to that little guy in the book charging out into the world to seize his destiny. There are many meaningful messages that resonate at several stages in our lives.