A Cloud of Dust

17 Aug

I have been reading a book entitled The Little Big Things by Tom Peters. His focus in the book is, that if you focus on the little things, it becomes big in your quest for excellence! Today I read about what he learned at his Grandfathers funeral. Long-story-short, his Grandfather always took an interest in others and went out of his way to be-there for people. At his funeral, over a 1000 people showed up in a town of 400-500. As Tom was driving there, he noticed a cloud of dust as people from all over come to pay their respects.

To quote his take-away.

The lesson that funeral taught me was the power of decency and thoughtfulness. It wasn’t that my mom and dad hadn’t done a lot of that, but this was the Ultimate Technicolor Illustration. In the most unassuming way, Grandpa Owen had been there for an entire community and beyond and a great dust storm of people, some, who had moved, from 100 miles away, had come to say one last thanks. If there isn’t a crystal-clear message, and, de facto, advice in that, I don’t know where you’d find it.

So – how do you measure up? After reading this, I know I have a long way to go. Will there be a great dust storm of people at your funeral? How will you be remembered?

I’m going to start making changes in my life. To be genuinely interested in strangers. To “be there” for others. Like Tom asks in the book, “To make the obvious more obvious: How do you stack up on The Great Being There Exam?  It’s the ultimate life question and the ultimate business-career-success question.”

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