Yes, it’s Christmas time. Schools are preparing to close, people are scheduling their vacations, and the malls are full of people trying to buy the perfect gift. It is time for cheer, gifts and celebration.
At school, everyone is buzzing around, humming Christmas songs. The air around school is filled with laughter and smiles. The faculty, staff and students begin to count the days until winter break. As our annual holiday party draws near, presents are wrapped and the spirit of giving is in the air.
Prior to the party one student came to see me with a request. She had secured a job at a local restaurant; however she didn’t have money to purchase the clothes and shoes necessary to meet the uniform requirement. I contacted our community liaison and asked her if she could help the student. Normally, she works with a local thrift shop to assist our students; however she went out and purchased clothes for the student. In addition, she gave the student a $50 gift card. When I asked her why, she said, “I just wanted to do something nice to help her out.”
During this season, people seem to be kinder and more gracious. We are willing to go above and beyond to help each other. Our personal differences are put aside to enjoy the spirit of the season.
In his book Winning with People, John Maxwell encourages us to believe the best of others. The Number 10 Principle states, “Believing the best in people usually brings the best out of people.” To maximize the power of gratitude, leaders must embrace this principle.
Why? Because we all want to be appreciated and valued. Maxwell offers five insights to understanding people:
- Everybody wants to be somebody – we all want to feel significant
- People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care – before we can educate, we have to demonstrate we care.
- Everybody needs somebody – the question is not “do we need others” but “how much do we need others?’
- Anybody that helps somebody influences lots of bodies – when we help one person, it over flows into the lives of others.
- Somebody today will rise up and become somebody. When we see everyone as a 10, every day is an opportunity to change a life.
Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
While people may disappointment us, it should not stop us from believing in others. When we believe in people’s potential, we encourage them to reach their potential.
What will you do today to show someone your gratitude?