In the heat of the summertime, one of my favorite activities is to wind down the workday at the pool. The other day, as I was sitting poolside with a cocktail, I noticed what appeared to be a stream from one of those hand held pump water guns, you know, one of those “super soakers”. But, as I looked again, to my surprise, I realized it wasn’t that at all. Rather, it was J.J, a four year old boy peeing in the pool.
Now, that in itself is not that unique (come on, you KNOW that kids regularly sneak a pee in the pool), but this was different. He was standing proudly by the side of the pool at the shallow end, in plain sight, swim trunks around his ankles, wearing a big smile, and letting it fly, so to speak.
As I witnessed this, I heard someone shout his name. He stopped, mid stream (okay, sorry for that), turned his head to see who was calling, then returned to the task at hand (okay, sorry for that, too) and finished the job. J.J. then calmly pulled up his trunks and jumped in the pool still smiling.
Now there is much more to this story (which I intend to share later) , but for now let’s focus on this.
J.J. did not take the easy route. He could just have easily done his thing in the pool with no one the wiser. But, no. He chose to be bold and make a stand (again, sorry). He chose to stand up and out in the crowd (oops) and be noticed.
Early in our lives we are all taught to speak up if we wish to be heard. ( I know that I was and I feel certain I a not alone here. ) In other words, be bold. We are taught to be responsible for our actions and not cower in the corner. Be bold.
When I was in high school, my band director, Mr. King used to to tell us if we were going to make a mistake, be sure to make it loud and proud. ( And, yes, I loudly and proudly made many mistakes!) Be bold.
But, please be assured there IS a definitive line between being bold and being arrogant, but, of course, as gentlemen we would never dream of crossing that proverbial mark.
So, hold the door for someone today. Offer eye contact and a heartfelt smile. Dress for success. Shine your shoes. Let’s be helpful to others. And, most importantly, let us all be a positive influence in all we say and do.
The lesson I am trying to convey is fairly simple and straight forward…In our collective efforts to be gentlemen, we have to choose to be bold and step up. We must. We can’t just sneak our way in….people need to know who we are and for what we stand…they need to know what we can do (for others as well as ourselves)…we need to live our lives in a gentlemanly manner as an example to others ( because we know that others are indeed watching us)…We must be bold.
And if we aren’t bold enough to be gentlemen and show them… we might was well be peeing in the pool.