I attended a committee meeting last evening at one of the member’s homes. During the meeting the phone began to ring. She excused herself to take the call and was soon back at the table. Again the phone rang and the process was repeated.
This happened five times. The rest of us continued talking and ignored the ringing phone but finally she filled us in.
“I’m so sorry but my son just did a great thing at his baseball game and people are calling to tell me about it.”
That’s great! A homerun? A no-hitter? A triple play? We all speculated as to what this wonderful thing could be that would cause so many people to call.
“No. A little boy on the other team threw himself on the ground after being struck out. His team members left him there but my son went over, helped him up and told him it was okay and then walked him to the other team’s bench.”
We were all silent for a moment. Dante, the boy in question, is only eight years old. The other player had thrown a temper tantrum, as young kids are apt to do, however, most kids would point and laugh. Not this young boy. Dante felt the pain of his competitor and reached out a helping hand.
It was a little thing, really. Almost not worthy of a blog post. But the message in this story seems rather large to me.
- Reaching out to help the competition is newsworthy
- At the end of the day; helping others is more important than the end result
- You are never too young to understand the value of putting yourself in the other person’s shoes
- Lending a helping hand might not be the popular thing to do (witness his team mates who left him crying on the field) but it is always the right thing to do
- Compassion and empathy live on in our next generation
Little eight year old Dante is my hero today. I wonder if put in a similar situation if I could have been brave enough to do the same thing. If I saw a competitor struggling or a customer having an ackward moment – would I step in or pretend I didn’t see? How about you? What can you learn from this 8 year old?