When the Tables Turn

 

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A week before my 20th birthday, I requested that day off from my job at the hardware store. But when the new schedule was posted, I noticed that it wasn’t granted. I asked the boss (let’s call him Al) about it, and he told me that I was low man on the totem poll.

So, in classic Tommy Wyatt form, I decided to take that day off anyway and did so in vintage Ferris Bueller fashion. Not only did I blatantly disrespect authority that day, but I also had the cojones (is that a word?) to show up at 5:30 to pick up my paycheck.

Handing me a small manilla envelope with cash, Al’s last words to me were, “You’re fired. Get the hell out of here.” I complied.

Flash forward almost 20 years, I had just been named “Entrepreneur of the Year” for a billion dollar network marketing company and was on stage presenting a financial opportunity to a large audience.

There, fifteen-or-so rows back on the left side of the auditorium, was a face I recognized from my past. Yep. It was Al.

I knew that a confrontation was inevitable and a million thoughts went through my mind as our eyes met and we walked towards one another after the meeting broke up. I didn’t harbor any ill will. Did he?

“Tommy Wyatt,” he said, in his dull voice, face expressionless as always, extending his hand. Turns out, Al was down on his luck. He had recently joined our company and was part of my personal organization. He was requesting my assistance.

As much as I wanted to squint, give him the Clint Eastwood face twitch and some great one liner, I made a snap decision to take the high road and instead chose friendly and cordial. Screen shot 2014-07-18 at 10.26.50 AM

Al asked a lot of me over the next few months – I even returned to that dusty old hardware store – and I worked hard for him (again). So much so, in fact, that he started getting the illusion that he was the boss again. Hence, nothing gave me more pleasure than the day I told him he was ready to fly on his own. That was when I turned and “got the hell out of there” (again).

In retrospect, I’m glad I summoned the strength (at age 20) not to burn that bridge. I can’t say it was wisdom back then, maybe just good luck. And I’m glad Al didn’t carry a grudge either. Or maybe he did, but had to humble himself.

Its a funny thing about life; the tables turn all the time.

Stay humble my friends.

 

 

Do You Choose Hatred?

03fa21a1c8f5a3238936970e966add78There’s a lot of talk about hatred going on these days.

This phenomenon occurs daily, but really spikes up in four-year cycles when people appoint themselves political activists and take to the airwaves running their mouths over something they (mostly) don’t know much about.

I’ve never been an expert on politics, but I’ve observed that our political opinions are based largely on which television network we choose to watch, which newspaper we choose to read, and which Facebook posts we choose to believe.

Consequently, every time there’s an election, half the population goes through its “the sky is falling” phase. Every time. And guess what? The sky never falls.

But sadly, this counterproductive “Us against Them” (pick a side) mentality, which exists in Washington perpetually, spills over into the general population creating hatrid and anger, and damaging friendships and family relationships. And boy, does misery love company.

“Suddenly, I’m an expert on what’s going on and if you don’t agree with me, you’re stupid.” Oh yeah, and then there’s the “Please unfriend me now” plea.

Again, full disclosure, I’m more of a sports fan than a political expert. But its easy for me to opine that if half the population always hates and disagrees with our elected officials then the team never moves forward. It’s called divisiveness and “We the people” do it to ourselves. Technology and the internet have allowed “freedom of speech” to get way out of hand, but that’s another blog another time.

Sometimes a divided team can win (see the 77 Bronx Zoo Yankees), but normally we all need to be on the same page to create something great. Naive, I know.

Mirror, mirror on the wall; who’s the problem after all?

Anyway, if you’re really tired of hatred make different choices. Start by getting up and changing the channel. Maybe log off Facebook too.

 

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