Monday, January 7, 2008

Feel free to walk away

Last night I was working on a project for my company's holiday party (we're having it this coming weekend due to heavy schedules during the actual holiday time). I'm putting to together a video yearbook of sorts. I have still shots and video footage of each employee - and while you're looking at pics/video of a particular person, you will hear other employees saying nice things about that person. So last night I was going through all the video of each employee saying something nice about a list of their co-workers. I was dreading the project - I was afraid it was going to take forever and I was really not in the mood to start working on it. But, I knew that Saturday night would be here before I knew it and I wanted to avoid the crush of another deadline.

Anyway... After watching all the footage I was blown away at how nice everyone was. What was equally surprising was how good it made me feel; not the stuff that was said about me (although that was very nice too), but the stuff that was said about everyone else. Hearing people say nice things about other people is so uplifting, so encouraging, and, unfortunately, so rare.

So often what we hear when someone talks about another person is a recap of all his/her inequities. I'm just as guilty of it as the next person. I don't take the time to say something positive, but I'll make time to say something negative. I don't want to be known for that. I don't want to be someone that people are afraid to walk away from because they know that the minute they're out of earshot I'll start ripping them to pieces. I've been that person - and I worked hard to change. I don't want to become that person again. I don't want to be known for that.

There's a girl that I work with, her name is Janice. In all the time that I've known her I have never once heard her say something negative about anyone. I've never known anyone else that I can say that about. It's amazing, really. The only things I've heard her say are good things. Uplifting and encouraging things. And she does it with such a genuine spirit that you know it's real. There is nothing artificial about her. Whenever I walk away from Janice, I don't worry about a thing. I walk away with a smile on my face knowing that the next conversation she has with someone will be equally uplifting and will not disparage anyone.

That's what I want to be known for. I want people to walk away from me feeling encouraged and confident. So thank you Janice. You may never read this, but you have had a profound effect on my life and for that I am truly grateful.