I would rather call people forth than call them out and recently had an opportunity to do so with a young man serving me a glass of wine. I’ll set the stage first.
I took my wife to watch, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” for our anniversary to a movie theater that served adult beverages. I ordered a glass of wine and watched the young man behind the counter peer intently at an imaginary line on the glass.
He let out sigh of disgust when the bottle ran out but hurried into the back room to get more. Cautiously, he poured more wine in until it hit that imaginary mark.
“What you just did showed me how much integrity you have,” I told the young man. “You could have easily handed me the first pour and I would not have known better, but you grabbed a new bottle and put just a little bit more in it to make sure it was filled. That’s one of the classiest acts of integrity I’ve seen in a long time.”
“Well, that stuff’s expensive,” he blushed. “I wanted to make sure you got what you paid for. That’s only right.”
“You just showed me who you are as a person and, at the end of the day, your integrity is the best way to get a good night’s sleep,” I continued. “From a person whose got a few years in the workforce under his belt and having watched people pull all kinds of sneaky shenanigans, I want you to know that I noticed that simple act and that I appreciate it. Keep your integrity; that’s one thing no one can ever take away from you and will make you successful at anything you do.”
I recently wrote about “Calling people forth instead of calling people out,” and now I intentionally look for ways each day to add value to a person’s life by noticing, and commenting on, acts of integrity, positive attitude, commitment to excellent, offers of grace and other virtues.
The reaction of the young man – a combination of a shy blush and beaming pride – reminded me that I have the power with words to create life and add value.
Although the movie was good, years from now the part I’ll remember most is the look on that young man’s face when I called him forth. I have a feeling that, years from now, he’ll remember that moment, too.