Most people are inherently good and want to do the right thing. Sure there are people out there whose modus operandi is to agitate, disrupt or bring down others, but they are in the minority. The vast majority of us want to do well and realise that working with others rather than against others will facilitate this. This applies in the workplace, the community and in family life.
Stepping up in a time of need
This past week I’ve personally experienced the inherent goodness in someone who was a stranger to me but went out of his way to help someone close to me (who he works for). His efforts and help have extended way beyond the usual employee/employer relationship and his motivations have been nothing other than a genuine desire to do the right thing by another person during a time of need.
Learning of the things he has done and how he chose to go out of his way to help his employer (and friend) has been incredibly impressive. Despite juggling university exams, three jobs, an ill wife and two kids (including a four month old), he has continually stepped up to help her and he has extended that support to me.
A week ago I didn’t know this guy and now I regard him a trusted friend.
Swimming against the tide
The most impressive aspect of what this guy has done is the sheer selflessness of his actions. He has stepped up and taken action in full knowledge that his decisions may have been deemed unpopular and gone unthanked. He put one of his jobs (actually it was all three) on the line in order to help another person. He put others before himself.
He was quite prepared to swim against the tide and make tough decisions because his moral compass and sense of right and wrong guided his actions. I would not have blamed him at all if he just kept his head down, did his job and let all the challenges around him be taken care of by others. Yet, instead he saw that someone was in a spot of difficulty and he chose to help rather than ignore.
I later learned that he had a military career and did several international assignments in dangerous environments. It seems putting himself in harm’s way for the protection of others is how he is wired. Being in recruitment I couldn’t help but ask him questions about his work background after leaving the army and his career aspirations for the future. It was no surprise that his longer term plan is to work with returned servicemen to help them adjust into civilian life after a career in the armed forces. But for now he is quite prepared to stick at his three jobs, continue his university studies and raise his young family.
You attract what you radiate. In explaining to me the decisions he made and the steps he took to help this situation, he described the reciprocal nature of his actions. He reasoned that he was merely returning the kindness and generosity previously afforded to him. This really resonated with me because it took me back to a team building event I attended many, many years ago when the facilitator spoke of the law of reciprocity and the concept that you attract what you radiate. The situation last week reminded me that people will go out of their way to help you if you have done the right thing by them. And in this case, his employer had been generous and supportive of him and he didn’t hesitate to help her when he noticed she was in need.
A role model – he is not alone
I met some of the other staff members who, like him, have endured very difficult circumstances in the workplace recently, yet they have pushed through and ploughed on remaining loyal, despite their individual frustrations or inconveniences. They did so, largely because he led the way and was a great role model of how to act when things get tough.
A thank you
I doubt the person I’m talking about will read this blog, but if he does I want to say a public thank you. Thanks for stepping up to help someone who was in need and for being so generous with your time and energies. You have shown me how a good deed to someone in need can have widespread positive ramifications. You are a very real example of our belief in the inherent goodness of people and that good people make great organisations.
Ben Walsh – General Manager, Recruitment