Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pumping Your Own Gas


And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” - Nelson Mandela

Some years ago, a high tech company from Boston named Data General existed creating computers and other devices to help businesses advance in the emerging computer era. It was a reasonably large company with a large field service organization supporting the needs of its customers.

Their support organization eventually became centered in the Atlanta, Georgia area. As a reward for doing exceptional work, Data General service personnel from around the world were rewarded at an annual awards conference. One particular conference was held in the "Big Easy" (New Orleans) and everyone had a great time.

Data General conference organizers needed someone to emcee video highlights and contacted a person by the name of Jim. This fellow named Jim was an executive in the Atlanta support center and said he had the perfect person at hand for this task. His son was an aspiring comedian in the Atlanta area who could really use the money. There are still VCR tape copies of his work from the conference floating around somewhere.

Data General would not last too many more years before getting bought out by the EMC Corporation. But this aspiring comedian by the name of Jeff Foxworthy would become very successful at this comedy thing. Today he is sought after for his brand of humor which keeps people laughing.

So why would he pump his own gas?

Well the story goes like this.

Jeff still lives in the Atlanta area and had to put gasoline into his vehicle before going to pick up one of his kids. It is something each of us do everyday and is a normal thing to be doing. Jeff truly is just a normal, average kind of guy. So he is at the gas station pumping gas into his vehicle when a lady notices him and questions him on who he is. She even asks for identification to prove it.

Now Jeff could have shunned this woman and asked her to leave him alone. There are many celebrities who would have done just that. But Jeff listened and politely accommodated the woman. It turns out they had a very nice conversation and it became apparent to Jeff this woman needed assistance with a project.

The project is House of Joy which serves homeless women and homeless mothers with dependent children in Gwinnett County, Georgia who need emergency shelter and crisis intervention services. Jeff saw a place where he could help and he did so by hosting a benefit show.

What does all of this have to do with anything?

You see it is the little moments in time that if we rush by them, we will never find opportunity to do something good.

Jeff Foxworthy could have been too rushed and missed out.

The lady who approached him could have been too busy to even ask.

But from time to time, each of us get presented with little moments which can open up an opportunity for us to do great things. You don't have to be famous or funny like Jeff. All you have to be is willing to slow down and recognize the moment.

My guess is that people will now be stalking gas stations, looking for Jeff being in need of gas again. But his calm and kind demeanor will probably handle the situation just right.

Yet we do not have to wait for a chance encounter with someone famous.

All we have to be is open to experience the moment. When you least expect it, the opportunity will appear. You will see it, you will grasp it and you will shine. so whether pumping your own gas or any of a number other tasks, be ready to seize the moment.

And stay inspired my friends.

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