In last week’s post I talked about one of the parts of the business we call Do Good U, and I promised you something.
At Do Good U, we help companies bring more good into the world. One of the ways we do that is by offering an adult learning experience to those who work in the company.
Yes, I know, offering an adult learning experience sounds a little stodgy and not much like fun. I’ve toyed with the idea, therefore, of saying we offer an ale to everyone in the company! You can enjoy some of that ale on your own and some of it is supposed to be enjoyed with others. And it is some of the best ale you’ll find anywhere.
Hey, it could work.
In the meantime, though, here’s the very first drink of ale we give to employees. It is called…
Your instructions are simple. Read the following story and answer the questions.
Imagine that you have an important interview for a job, and you’re excited about the opportunity. The day comes for the interview and you leave home early because you know the reputation of the company is “buttoned down.” They run a tight ship and value things like being on time.
The company is based downtown, and you’re glad you left early because finding a place to park is harder than you thought it would be. Then, just when you saw a spot, someone else pulled in. But you still have time, and you find a space, just a little farther from the office than you hoped.
As you are crossing the street to get to the building you glance at your phone to make sure you’re still on time, and you see you are just going to make it. You congratulate yourself, but as you are looking down you bump into a woman who was ahead of you, knocking her down.
What do you do now?
- keep going, because you don’t have time for this
- ask her if she’s OK, then keep going
- ask if someone can help her, because you are running late
- stop and help her, making sure she is OK before you leave
You made it!
Whatever you did, you finally get into the building and get on the elevator to the fourth floor.
What are you saying to yourself?
- I’m really glad I left early. I’m still going to be on time.
- Seems like everything is against me. That car, that woman…
life is just not fair!
- If I don’t get this job, it’s not my fault, it’s that woman’s fault.
- If I can make it through all of that, I can make it through the interview.
- Way to arrive on time — now collect your thoughts and get ready for this!
- All of the above.
You get off the elevator, find the office quickly, and the receptionist says to you, “Thanks for coming in. You are right on time! Unfortunately Mrs. Smith will be a few minutes late. She called to say that she fell out in the street and she’s getting cleaned up, but will be here soon.”
What are your thoughts?
- All that worry about being on time, and now she’s late?
- I hope she’s OK.
- Surely she isn’t the same woman I ran into!
As it turns out, Mrs. Smith is in fact the woman you bumped into. What are your thoughts now about how you responded to the incident in the street?
It could happen
This, of course, is only a story, but something just like it could happen.
In a different context, I remember deciding to go with my buddy on a TP run one Halloween. We spent our own money to buy the requisite number of toilet paper rolls, and this was years before Costco even existed. (Come to think of it, that was probably why Costco was started in the first place.)
We didn’t know just which house we would favor with our decorations, so we drove through a couple of neighborhoods until we found a yard with several trees. They weren’t too high, and there weren’t too many. We went to work and did, if I say so myself, a masterful job. Never did we see a light go on in the house.
When I got home an hour or so later I expected my own house to be just as dark, but it wasn’t. My grandfather, a crusty fellow who had lived in the town for several decades, was not only awake, he was waiting up for me.
Turns out the owner of the house we had visited called the police. Rather than bother with a couple of teenage boys, the police called my grandpa. And that homeowner didn’t have to remove even one square of toilet paper from his yard.
The choices my buddy and I made that night were, shall we say, not good.
I believe we were created with free will, so I am for people making choices. If I could use the term pro-choice to describe that I would, but I can’t. Still, once in a while, I will say to a friend, “You know I’m pro-choice.” Then I’ll add, “I’m in favor of people choosing to do good.”
Would that all of us, especially when we are faced with very difficult decisions, would take the time to dive deeply into the choices available. If we did that, we would find that the choice to do good is always there.
In fact most of our days are made up of a series of choices. The challenge is to make the right choice, the one that is morally virtuous.
Because, as Lou Holtz said, “There is never a right time to do the wrong thing and never a wrong time to do the right thing.”
Do good. It’s in you.