What are you doing at 3:50 am each day? Hopefully, you’re enjoying some restful sleep. For one of my business colleagues, Jen, in Joplin, Missouri, it’s the time she rises five days a week to carpool from Baxter to Joplin to hit the gym with friends, enjoying fellowship and exercise. The early morning trek filled with friendly visiting usually rolls by quickly. However, Thursday morning, October 14, 2010, turned out to be anything but “usual”.
Attending a professional training course in Springfield later that morning necessitated Jen’s driving to the gym alone – no big deal – or was it? Not far into her trip, Jen encountered a bloodied-faced, obviously injured man along the roadside, waving his hands furiously. With her thoughts spinning (alone at 4:30 am on a lightly traveled road; someone clearly in need of help; must help, but don’t get out of the car) Jen slows her car, rolls down the window, learns there has been a one-car accident, immediately calls 911 and pulls to the side of the road to wait until an ambulance arrives. With her emergency flashing lights on and the injured man spotlighted by her headlights, Jen is astounded by the refusal of two passing motorists to stop and help with the situation. One is “running late” and the other simply slows down a bit and then proceeds on his way.
Knowing they will be worried about her tardiness, Jen calls her girlfriends at the gym and upon hearing her story, they tell her they’re on their way. At that point Jen is positive she has the best friends in the entire world! A few minutes later, as Jen and her two friends are walking over to speak with the injured motorist, a third car passes, the driver asks what’s going on, listens – and – promptly drives away! Three women standing in the middle of a road at 4:45 in the morning and he drives off – unbelievable!
By 5:00 am, the injured man is being transported to a hospital; Jen, after having had no luck in reaching 3 or 4 friends/family of his has left a message for his mother; and Jen and her friends are off to the gym, still shaking their heads over the audacity of the passing motorists who would not stop to help.
Ironically, the emphasis of Jen’s training class that day was all about “mindset, pushing past the pain to get to the pleasure and getting out of your comfort zone in order to grow as a person”. She had already experienced every single point that very morning!
1) Accepting the rejection of the passing motorists – the “No’s in life and business” – and persevering in order to reach the positive reaction of her friends – “the Yes”
2) Definitely stepping out of her comfort zone and accepting the opportunity to grow simply because you “do the right thing”. There was no time for discouragement, only action.
3) And, there are no coincidences in life – be ever mindful of the impact of your actions in the lives of those around you.
The “higher purpose in life” fuels the “higher purpose of business” – and I believe this is genuinely exemplified by each of you. Together, we are family, friends, co-workers, professionals who can always be counted upon to be available and of service to those around us and that is truly critical in today’s society. It can even save a life! As Jen has shared, she “saw the need of the injured motorist and could not turn away.” This is character in action!
I want you to know what an honor it is to share this life journey with such exceptional, high-minded individuals. Together we WILL leave a legacy of love and caring and help make our world a better place for everyone!