August 21, 2012

leejohndrowteamCompass Points 8/21/12

Compass Points was a series I wrote when I owned my own newspapers.

Ever since I was a child, the idea of being creative, building things and selling them has been in my head. As a child I worked on a neighbor’s small farm for money. I picked, cleaned, fed and more. From his garden I would buy vegetables, seeds and the like that I could resell. I learned to make cutting boards and boxes in my dad’s workshop that I sold. I started a lawn mowing “business’ that paid me $5 for the average lawn. (Gas was 25 cents!) When I got too many, my brothers helped out and got paid. I started delivering newspapers for 2 hours a day and got paid $2. Shortly after that I went to work in a garage pumping gas at 10 years old. I loved it. The owner let me work on Saturdays and gave me a split from the tire changes and oil changes with him. Good for him –- good for me!

I always liked to work. I have always believed in the entrepreneurial spirit of America. There is something in the “ground” of America that is good for business. But, over the last few years, I have watched many just say “it is too hard” and bail out.

Over the weekend I spoke with a friend of mine. He is in business. He relayed to me that, in the last week, two of his friends have said “enough is enough” and are getting out of business. One after over 30 years. This past weekend I visited a business that has been there over 48 years. The owner was out there doing repairs this year. Keeping help going is difficult. So he was doing the work.

I love America. I know we have had some dark times and some black periods, but to me that is not something we continually go back to over and over again. I don’t deny there was slavery or inequality for voters. Or that certain groups or people were mistreated. My mom was a history teacher. Her (our) family had been part of the slave’s problem. They were plantation owners. She dragged me to museums and sites to teach me of the inequality various peoples have suffered. I get it. So does that mean we quit? Roll over and die?

It is my hope that we don’t. I honor those who have gone before me. I honor those who do not point fingers but seek solutions. I dislike the finger pointing crowds. Do people do wrong things? Yes! On purpose? Yes! On both sides of the aisle and sometimes in the middle? Yes! But we cannot quit.

As I pointed out last week, I struggle with all the name calling and rhetoric. It makes me uncomfortable to listen to it. It is time we get back to a culture that includes honor as one of it’s foundational pieces.

Honor means “to hold in high esteem; to regard with great respec;, to revere”. Honor does not happen by accident. It happens as the result of a people that decides to sow the seeds of honor in how they serve one another.

Yesterday in our church gathering I shared this because I have struggled with how people have gotten so unhappy over the upcoming elections and the things that are happening. Here is a great truth about honor: whether it is in your family, business or church — wherever there is a culture of honor present – joy is always there.

The reason is because a culture of honor releases people to celebrate each other.

  • Honor looks like… pointing out people’s strengths, not their weaknesses.
  • Honor looks like… celebrating people’s wins, not their failures.
  • Honor looks like… seeing people’s future, not just their past.

How do we do this? First, we must begin to honor those we work with and serve with. Oh, and in case you thought I forgot something, honor probably starts at home!

Since the destruction of our home a few years ago, I have lived in a few apartments. To hear the people talk as they do to their significant others and their children is atrocious. There is no honor in so many places.

I doubt if honor is a foreign term, but I wonder if we see what good could come out of it. Food for thought.

Life every man holds dear; but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life.”
William Shakespeare