This week has already had two Mondays and it might have a few more before it’s over, being as how Wednesday has just started. A tinker’s dam must have been all that was holding back a collection of issues, situations and challenges. These apparently had been brewing for some time. The assortment erupted on the first Monday and then came back for an encore yesterday. Two of my colleagues stepped up to the crater and took the brunt of the heat that had already been scorching two others for a while. We confronted it again yesterday and may have established a turning point. Hopefully, it’ll move in the right direction now, albeit slowly and incrementally.
Most situations involving humans develop over time and some of the ridges formed in that development take a while to smooth down a bit. An asbestos suit with Kevlar underneath can help us get through those. Some days, though, you’re pretty sure there was nothing between you and the heat. As my old friend Charles Nichols would say, “I feel like I was walking through hell wearing gasoline drawers.”
That would definitely be an exaggeration of how I felt at the smoky end of my second Monday. But maybe like I’d slid bareback down the side of a shale pit and landed in a slime pool. But the thin end of daylight brought a bit of brightness.
Late in the evening, one of my colleagues shared with a few of us news about a donation to the College. Not the largest donation in recent history but certainly one of rank. After she laid out some of the particulars in her email, she deliberately included some very nice statements about another colleague. Another colleague whose ground work had apparently contributed in a positive and meaningful way, based on statements the donor had made.
It genuinely brightened my day and my spirits. Witnessing such a generous and considerate gesture made me smile out loud! With nary another soul around, I said, “Wow! What a lovely thing to do and what a lovely way to be!” That kind of thing brightens up a day, no matter what sort of terrain frames your current Monday.
The news-sharer could have easily omitted any reference. None of us would likely have ever been the wiser. Some people I know would have probably excluded that added commendation, reserving all the credit to themselves. What a refreshing joy it is to have colleagues who are happy to give others credit, and share good news without drawing attention to their own role in making it happen!
“Humility, encouragement and support.” That’s good stuff there, Maynard, the sort of stuff true leaders are made of.