Summer is in the rearview mirror. Gardens are fading away and browning out. Yellow buses are ferrying kids back to school. Bonus plans and year-end sales targets are becoming front and center as the fourth quarter beckons. Personally and professionally, we feel the angst of getting tugged in multiple directions. COVID is a continual terrible reminder. The media vitriol and narrative are constant drumbeats that show no signs of abating. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 brings back memories of a day that changed us in profound ways that have long-lasting tentacles that still resonate today – a staggering 7,305 days later.
We would never want to relive the horror of 9/11, but wouldn’t it be refreshing to revisit the actions of 9/12 when virtue and the goodness of people shone through in multiple forms of courage, strength and caring. These virtues became front and center in a time of darkness and deep sorrow. The very best in people came out in many different ways. It was a kindler and gentler time, albeit for a fleeting period.
With all the negativity that consumes us continually at every turn via a mere swipe of our phones, it’s time to rechannel the positive energy which began on 9/12 when our great nation started the long healing process that still bubbles underneath the surface today.
It’s in our power to do something good today. The “I’m busy” excuse is just a crutch − that’s the default for not bothering. Everyone can make the time if it’s important enough. It’s time for all of us to reach out and do someone a solid. It’s not difficult and I’m certain you’ll feel better about yourself. Everyone has the ability to make a difference. The definition of doing a solid can be expressed in many different and uniquely personal ways. The means for doing it are simple and endless.
- Thank someone who has made an impact on your life – personally or professionally. Even better, put it in writing.
- Mend a relationship. We’ve all “broken our picks” by digging in and being stubborn. Be the bigger person and take the first step.
- Embrace your elders. Make time. Truly listen to them. Don’t fall into the drive-by visit mentality.
- Be present when you’re at home. Put down the devices. Eat dinner together. Be moved to love, laugh and cry. Share your emotions.
- Cherish the young. Show them the way. Thing about coaching, tutoring or mentoring.
- Don’t be self-centered. Ask people about themselves and their lives. Be inquisitive. Truly care about people (especially true if you’re privileged to be in a leadership position).
- Reach out to someone with whom you’ve lost touch. Rekindle relationships.
- Treat everyone the same. Tip well. Send the elevator back down. Share your knowledge. Regale in other people’s success. Don’t be envious.
- Write a recommendation. Accept that LinkedIn invitation. Rather than dismissing someone, help them understand how to write a good cold-call introduction. Never forget where you came from. Give advice to those who are down and out in their careers. Make introductions.
- Be a student of your business. Contribute to the betterment of the industry. Be a life-long learner.
- Keep a journal so that generations can share in your wisdom. Put words on paper.
The list is long about how you can personally do someone a “solid” − today, tomorrow and in the future. The key is making it a part of your daily consciousness. Most are simple gestures that take little to no thought or time, but go a long way. It’s simply part of being a good person who always cares for others, not just when it is convenient. It’s been a rough year and half for most, and especially tough if you’re an extrovert like me.
Doing someone a solid is much like what everyone began doing on 9/12. That way of life faded away over time as most everyone slipped back into their “normality.” Honor those who’s lives were lost on 9/11 by reaching out and doing someone a solid. You’ll be glad you did.
Bill Field lives in Monroe.