Back in 2005, I travelled to Ireland to play some golf.
The World Championship of Left Handed Golfers was being played over a week in Naas, on the south-western outskirts of Dublin, and a friend of mine thought it would be a great idea to enter this competition. He said we could travel to Ireland early, and before the competition began, we could play golf around Ireland and Northern Ireland at some of the greatest links courses the world has ever seen.
A lot of planning went into this trip. Courses were booked well in advance, and a very tight agenda was organised.
My only disappointment was that we were unable to secure a tee time to play Ballybunion during our tight schedule [they had no openings available for us to work with], and so we placed our names on a standby list, should a suitable vacant tee time present itself.
Which we thought would never happen.
But low and behold, a vacancy arose, and we were contacted.
But there was one small problem….
The tee time we were offered was for the “rest day” we had planned during the middle of the World Championship in Naas, which just happened to be some 270km and three hours’ drive away from Ballybunion, on the other side of the country.
But what the heck?
We were on the other side of the world, and we had the day free to play one of the greatest golf courses in the world…
We’d have been crazy not to?
And so off to Ballybunion we drove….
And a great day was had.
Now here’s what happened.
On our drive home, along a long piece of straight roadway, we saw in the distance, a Jaguar motor car pulled to the side of the road, with its trunk lid up, and a man standing beside the car, along with a set of golf clubs.
And so we pulled over behind him to ask him about his well-being, and to offer him some help and assistance.
It seemed the poor chap had a flat tyre, and was in a rental car, and had no clue as to how to change the tyre.
Fortunately for this guy, my golf buddy and I did know how to change a tyre…
And so change the tyre we did.
And we got this chap back on the road and on his way with the spare tyre on, and the flat tyre and golf clubs back in the trunk.
And we did that because that’s just what I would do.
It’s how I was raised.
If someone looks like they might need a hand, and I think I can offer assistance, I stop.
And check if I can help them out.
Fast forward to the present…
Jayne and I have been living away from our home for an extended period of time while our house has been being renovated.
As you know, we have acreage, and on that property, we raise beef cattle.
During our time away from the property, we’ve had a small issue with some blackberry taking over parts of some of our pastures.
The thing about blackberry is that it is an opportunistic weed, and it grows and proliferates during periods of rain and sunshine, which over the past year, has been the weather pattern we’ve experienced.
And it can only be poisoned during certain months of the year, and to do so, farmers need to be able to keep the grass around the blackberries down so the pest spray can get right in to the deep part of the plant.
And the spray doesn’t work unless it strikes dry blackberry leaves, so you need to spray during periods of no rain.
And where we live, getting those planets to line up as you would, can be quite difficult.
One of my neighbours noticed…
One of my neighbours contacted me by SMS and asked if we needed a hand with the blackberry issue.
At about the same time that I had reached out to and was waiting to hear back from my regular weed spray guy.
Which was a nice gesture from my neighbour.
Anyway, I did hear back from my weed spray guy, and a date was booked for him to come and do some spraying in two paddocks we had worked diligently on getting the pasture down with grazing cattle over the previous eighty days.
Coincidentally, at the very same time…
Coincidentally, at the very same time, another local decided to post a new comment in the local community Facebook group, about the proliferation of blackberry that was affecting our area this summer, and how all farmers needed to be on top of their blackberry issues.
And so I commented on his thread that my blackberries were being sprayed this week.
The poster then commented [in a long comment] that my blackberry issue was a bad one, and he used this post to tell me how good and free of blackberries his property was, and how long it was going to take for me to get on top of my blackberries.
I would have done things differently…
If it was me, and the roles were reversed, I would have jumped on the phone and asked my neighbour if everything was OK, and did he need a hand with his blackberries.
In the way that my first neighbour did, rather than in the way that the second local did.
Our world gets better…
Our world will always get better by helping people up, rather than by kicking people when they’re down.
Or when they’re struggling.
And asking someone whether everything is OK, rather than assuming an incorrect position, is often a good idea.
It’s like the Steven Covey story about the guy on the subway on a quiet Sunday morning, whose children are creating a noise in the train carriage.
When Covey asked the guy whether he could get his children to behave better, the guy apologised to Covey and told him that they’d just come from the hospital, where the guy’s wife [the children’s mother] had just passed away….
No matter what you think…
No matter what you think, nobody ever knows the whole story, or the back story, until they take their time and ask.
Everybody out there is dealing with their own issues, and to presume that you might know what’s going on in someone’s head, without stopping to enquire, is wrong.
A friend of mine operates every conversation in his household using the “Second Thought” principle.
And that is, that no matter what you think you should say in a conversation, you simply need to park that thought for a moment, take a deep breath, and wait until the second thought enters your brain.
And usually during that time, the action of parking the first thought [and not uttering it] and waiting for and using the second thought, is seen to be the wiser decision.
You have the power
We all have the power to be a person of influence for good.
Let’s learn to use that power wisely.
And use it for good.
And not kick people who are down.
In your personal life, and in your business life, offer a moment of your time.
Be there for them….
You will be amazed at the difference you can make.
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