Tuesday, June 30, 2015

It's not in the manual

I love the work I now do. It's a job that's easy to love because I'm working with people who have been down, but get a chance to turn things around. They learn new things and some are finding meaningful jobs. It's been a slow process, but the last few months, I'm beginning to see results.

The downside is that some of the stories I hear are heartbreaking. I would never compromise the privacy of any of the folks I'm working with, but suffice it to say, some of their lives have been brutal. For some, their plight was the result of ill timing or bad luck. For some, it was the result of bad choices. I wish there was a tab in the manual that advised how to navigate sad situations, but they left that tab out.

I met one person for coffee this morning at a local restaurant. The sky was overcast with a nice breeze from the west so I asked if he'd like to sit on the patio. He said if given the choice, he'd always prefer to be outside. I grabbed our drinks and headed outside to join him.

After the coaching session, he seemed to want to talk. I had time, so I listened. He ticked through a string of events that did not turn out well for him.

We sat in silence for a while watching the traffic pass by. He did not minimize his responsibility for where he is today. I asked what he'd learned from it all. Looking off into the distance, he said, "All through my life, I've been good at making bad decisions."   He went on to say that he strives each day to make better decisions. I told him that was all any of us can do.


  1. It really is all we can do. Good advice.

  2. It is so refreshing to hear that not everyone judges a person because of what they have been dealt in life. Bad decisions can be attributed to the person but at the same time, did anyone ever teach them how to make better decisions? To simply look at a person's condition and decide that they are worthless is too easy to do.

  3. You were there for him when he needed you and you listened-that is a rare trait. Very few people can listen and many people need that ear and that empathy. You gave great advice and compassion. I sometimes wonder how some people have been given a relatively "easy" life while others have had so much happen and they didn't ask for it. Some can carry that baggage well and other find that it wears them down. I deal with people daily who have had difficult times due to finances but it is often more than just using credit. There are reasons behind the use of credit. Most of the time it is either a loss of a job or illness. I am glad you were there for this man.

  4. My take-away? Your pausing to listen - really listen - is pretty darn great. What a gift you gave this gentleman!

  5. Wise men and women look for the answers. How nice it would be if that TAB was there that said 'This is the Fix'.
    I did smile at the contradictory statement, "I have been good at making Bad decisions."

    I have been fortunate and worked thru a bad decision (OR TWO(+))

  6. Anonymous12:13 PM

    We all need someone to listen to us!!

  7. You're a good man doing the right thing. Helping the less fortunate and not judging is what Jesus would do. Loving what you do is a sign that you're doing the right thing.
    Not everyone is happy with their job and no amount of money can make someone happy for long. You are a good man. There's a song somewhere in there.

    Blessings on your day.

  8. Your listening ear and compassion are what folks need. I remember Jack telling me that many people who go to Chiropractors like the fact that the Doc actually listens to them and also has physical contact with them. Many folks never have someone who is there for a hug or a shake of the hand. I'm glad you enjoy your job and I'm glad you're there for those who need you.

  9. Giving an open heart and receptive ear is a gift for anyone, and esp. this man.


Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required