A couple of years ago, a massive wind storm that produced extraordinary damage across the Midwest has caused me to realize that success depends on the support of other people. The night started at my 31st birthday party in which the electric went out soon after everyone arrived. I spent the first half-hour with the grill pulled up to the back door and cooking during the horrible storm. It was much cooler in the moment, I guess you had to be there.
Prior to eating the cake, my father received a call that the roof of our barn had been ripped off. Incidentally, this is the fourth time this has happened to one of his two barns. This gives a new perspective on the biblical story of the wiseman building his house upon the rock and foolish man building his house upon the sand (or most likely in a natural wind tunnel). However, my father does not see it that way nor did he think our suggestion of a concrete bunker barn was a practical solution.
What happened next though made me recognize that people really do care about others and I greatly appreciate having awesome neighbors. Prior to our arrival, there were several people at the roof-less barn moving horses to another barn. After surveying the damage, we decided that the exposed hay should be removed from the loft and the road next to the barn be cleared. So I went home to change into my hay throwing clothes because, yes, that is how I role.
Upon my return, there were no less than fifteen people already working on the hay and clearing the road with chainsaws. There was even a person stacking hay with shorts and sandals (unfortunately he had Sasquatch feet so nothing I have would fit him). Being on top of the barn watching this made me so glad that we chose to move back home where people are so willing to help others. Moreover, I decided that I need a plan with an attitude change that consisted of thinking right toward people.
So often we think that helping out only means throwing money at someone or something nevertheless giving time and physical help can be even more productive and appreciated. I have now learned to take the opportunity to help others with my time as well as give sincere appreciation to others when deserved. For what it is worth, I ran across President Lyndon Johnson’s Plan to Like People, which was outlined in The Magic of Thinking Big.
President Johnson’s Plan to Like People
- Learn to remember names.
- Be comfortable to be around.
- Be easy-going so that things do not ruffle you.
- Don’t be egotistical
- Cultivate being interesting so people get value from you
- Study unattractive aspects of your personality
- Sincerely attempt to heal, every misunderstanding
- Practice liking people until you learn to do so genuinely
- Never miss an opportunity to say a word of congratulations or sympathy
- Give Spiritual strength to people