Friday, October 12, 2007

And She Thought We Taught Her

(Nashville) I have learned a few fairly monumental truths about people over the years. I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to interact with many from all walks of life over my years. I thought about this one over dinner last night. And I was still thinking about it when I woke up this morning. This is a truth you can take to the bank.

The true character of a person is not revealed when everything is going well. Anybody can have class when the world is at your beckon call. But when things are not going your way and the world seems to be collapsing around you are when your true colors are exposed.

My friend and co-worker, Tracy, has shown her true colors the last couple of months. And if you look up the word “class” in the dictionary her name should be there.

As a result of circumstances beyond her control, Tracy finds herself without a job this morning. Although, she was offered another position in another place, she understandably decided she did not want to leave her family and friends to move to another place. And although she has known this day was coming for a while now, it doesn’t change the difficult place she finds herself in this morning. Or the difficult place she found herself in the last few weeks.

When Tracy was told a few weeks ago that the job as she knew it would be going away, she had a choice to make. She could have done what most folks would do in this situation and move into cruise control and feel sorry for herself and do just enough she needed to do to get by. Or she could continue with the same diligent work ethic she always exhibited.

She chose the latter.

A co-worker and I met her here for dinner last night. Our mission was to show her some degree of the same class she has shown us. Although we would have been very happy if she told us last night she would hang around and consider another position in another place, both of us knew the chances of that happening would be nil to none. But we wanted to look her in the eye and thank her for a job well done. And more importantly we wanted to thank her for the class she has shown in adverse circumstances.

She thanked us for the opportunity we gave her. She said she had learned so much in her role and she was convinced what she learned has made her a better person and she will be much better equipped at whatever future opportunity comes her way.

What she may not understand this morning is that she has reminded this fifty something year old man one of the great lessons of life about how to handle adversity.

I can tell you I am a better person for having known her. And I am now better equipped to handle whatever future opportunity comes my way.

And she thought we taught her.

Yeah right.

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