Being good and doing the right thing isn’t about being like Mother Theresa. It’s about choosing to do the right thing even after you fail, after you do something you shouldn’t have done. It’s about setting things right.
I read a blogpost on Huffingtonpost.com by Josh Misner, Ph.D. It was an apology letter to the ticket agent at the Delta Counter and I quickly realized that this blogpost embodies much of what I want to convey when I say “always do good”, “always be good”. It’s not about trying to be flawless by any means. I don’t think anybody can. It’s about trying to make this world a better place. Leave this world a little better than it was before you came into it.
The blogpost is about when Misner was out flying with his kids, after being delayed and missing his connection flight he comes upon what he perceives to be a very snarky customer service representative at the Delta desk who tells him he cannot help him and that he has so go to the automatic kiosk. Misner has reached his limit and starts going off much like a soccer mom at at peewee game when the ref makes an “unfair” call.
Realizing what he’s done and that he didn’t exactly set the best example for his kids, and that his kids were looking at him for guidance on how to deal with the situation he decides to go back to the counter and deliver a heartfelt apology. Come to find out the reason the customer service representative couldn’t help him was because he was on his way to help a passenger by delivering an emergency kit. In the end the customer service guy accepted the apology and told Misner he had just made his day.
This is what it’s about. Misner could definitely have handled things better from the beginning but I’m sure we’ve all been in situations where we wish we would have handled things the right way from the beginning and didn’t. What defines us, what defines our character is what we do when we find ourselves having shortcomings, when we find ourselves acting less than desirable. Do we cower in a corner ashamed of our actions? Do we justify them by saying that we were stressed/tired? Or, do we take the proverbial “bull by the horns” and face whoever we did wrong and apologize? Needless to say, the latter is the better option. The latter option is the one that defines doing good, being good. It is my hope that we can all learn from situations like this, blogposts like Misner’s and start acting, do a little better, be a little better.