The power of the right attitude

I remember getting into a fight in second grade. A much larger boy had been teasing me in class, and for whatever reason, that day I just had it with his antics. I told him in no uncertain terms, “When we get outside, I’m going to dog you.” In 1980s lingo, that meant I was going to beat him up. The other boy laughed, but I was serious. When class was over and we streamed out onto the steps, I tackled him, and to make a long story short, the grown-ups had to pull me off him, kicking and screaming. The mere absence of fear, together with the element of surprise and a fairly large dose of irrational anger, resulted in a scrawny, fifty pound boy beating up a boy about twice his size.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I do look back on the incident with some amusement, and more than a little pride. However, let’s not focus on my youthful predisposition to violent behavior. Instead, let’s consider that my fearless attitude was probably the deciding factor in that incident. The other boy had tried to be intimidating, but my response had been determined by my courage (and perhaps equally so by my lack of good sense).

-from The Million Dollar Hustle, Chapter 1 – Give Yourself Permission: The Attitude of A Million Dollar Hustler.

It doesn’t hurt to be gracious

This weekend, I happened to be present when an individual made the mistake of assuming how a high-profile speaker felt about something and verbalized it. Being hard of hearing, I never realized that the speaker had berated her until she was in tears, but the speaker was loud enough that I could hear his wildly disproportionate anger in what he was saying. I was told later that he’d made her cry, and kept yelling at her as she wept. Perhaps she was wrong to make a assumption, but there was absolutely no reason to treat her that way.

God has greatly blessed you, and you have the love and admiration of many people. It would not kill you to be gracious, even when there has been well-meant presumption. A public apology to that person would be the right thing to do.

You know who you are. Your success does not give you the right to be a bully.