On a recent trip, I couldn’t help but notice a well-dressed elderly lady in a wheelchair. She was sipping at what I assume was a delicious coffee at Muggs & Bean, just outside the boarding gates at Cape Town International Airport in South Africa.
I gathered she must be Canadian as her bag had a tag with the red maple leaf found on the Canadian flag. I did not think much of her until well into our flight. Incidentally, the lady and her husband sat across the isle to my left.
That is after I noticed that she was urgently pecking away at an iPad. It was the bold, red, fontsize-24 Arial typeface that grabbed my attention.
“Handling the wheelchair is becoming a challenge. The pain in the shoulders and fingers is getting worse. Need constant help to get around,” she typed out and continued, “Should check out hospice [she even typed out its name]… Prepare for death.”
What? Had I read that right, or was the recycled air in the aircraft cabin playing tricks on my travel-fatigued mind? All this time, her husband would read what she had typed out and patiently respond to her in a soft, loving voice.
This got me thinking of how short the time is to make any meaningful impact in our community. Should I waste my time chasing my tail or those of others? Or should I build my dream and impact lives with the goodness that was so graciously extended to me by my Maker?
As a leader, the three parts of the maple leaf remind me I need to do the following inspired by Robin Sharma:
First, I must cast away fear of failure and grow the opportunities I come across. Robin Sharma reminds me, “Your excuses are nothing more than the lies your fears have sold you.” This lady embraced her fears and talked about them.
Second, Even as I work at it, I need to claim strength and courage from significant others and God. I need to remain accountable to accomplish what I set out to do. Robin says, “All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” Her husband was right there walking her through what must be a very difficult period in her life.
Finally, I must move forward with boldness that is the leader I was destined to be! “Life is short. Be of use,” says Robin. This lady was courageous enough to accept her life’s situation.
My dream shall become my mantra. From today, I will actively remind myself to serve first. For it is in service that I grow my significance.
Q: How are you growing your significance? What do you need to do to grow your service-leadership? Have your say by clicking here.