Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.
Monday Mantra: Find the value
When I was 16, I went with my grandfather to the local auto store to have his tires rotated. After they had finished, he tipped them with a one dollar bill- a lot of money for someone from my grandpa's time. The young guy helping us smirked, thanked him, and went into the back to make fun of him with the rest of the guys working. I heard him mocking my grandfather for the "huge" tip and telling the other guys how ridiculous it was.
I was embarrassed, but not for any of the right reasons. What's worse is that I was ashamed of my grandpa. The young guy that took the dollar went to my high school, was a bully, and knew who I was. At the very least I thought he would tease me for having a cheap grandfather. One dollar to my generation was nothing, nothing at all.
My grandpa never said anything about that but I knew he had heard all of it. I could tell by the way his face took on lack of any expression at all, the way he seemed embarrassed and agitated all at once, the way we left so quickly. I never said anything either. Not to him or anyone.
I've always felt bad about that day. About what I thought and how I felt inside, angry at the wrong person. My grandfather was a great man, a hard worker. He came from a time when the value of things meant something entirely different than it does today. To him that dollar was a sign of years of back breaking work supporting his family and making a living. To him that dollar was a lot. I wish I had taken his hand and proudly stood next to him instead of silently doing nothing. Nothing is sometimes the worst thing you can do.
As I've been remembering that recently, I've been asking myself what the true value is of what I'm doing, saying, or buying. How did that add value to my life? Did I add value to anyone else's? Was it valuable in any way at all?
It's helping me put things into perspective. It's helping me become more aware of what truly matters in life. I hope one day, if ever I face a situation similar to the one with my grandpa, I remember what really matters and I stand up for that.
What do you value?
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Image via Paperbacks & Postcards