As you may recall, in the past post I shared that one of my favorite summertime activities is to wind down the workday at the pool. Recently, as I was poolside with cocktail firmly in hand, 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….

Fast forward to Part Two…

So after our hero J.J. calmly pulled up his trunks and jumped in the pool still smiling ear to ear, he grabbed the closest swim noodle and began swimming toward the center of the pool. As he did, the head lifeguard approached the edge of the pool and began calling out, imploring J.J.to come back.

J.J. did not hesitate….nor did he turn in the direction of the lifeguard’s voice…he just stayed the course, his own true course, smiling the whole way.

The lifeguard continued to try to get J.J.’s attention for a few minutes and then gave up. At that point, J.J.’s mom and dad appeared at pool’s edge. (Apparently they were inside the club and had been alerted to the situation.) They continued to try to attract my new hero’s attention, but to absolutely no avail…he courageously continued on his own path and no one, NO ONE was going to stop him. He did not even see his mom move from one end of the pool to the other.

Once again, there is more to the story, but, for now let’s focus on my interpretation of it. (Please note that I am neither advocating peeing in the pool nor disregarding lifeguards and parents instructions. Rather, I am using this example as a “teaching moment.”)

J.J., as gentlemen sometimes must do, made a very bold statement which set him apart. He boldly expressed his independence. He did not follow the crowd. Then, once he had made his mark, so to speak, the critics and naysayers began to howl for him to change direction…stop…come back.

J.J. would not, in fact, he could not stop. He was bold. He stuck to his guns (sorry) and kept moving forward with courage.

Gentlemen must also stand their ground and decide to do what is polite and right…even if his peers do otherwise.

So, again I state boldly….hold the door for someone today. Offer eye contact, hold it for a moment and offer a heartfelt smile. Dress for success. Shine your shoes. Be helpful to others. And, most importantly, be a positive influence in all you say and do.

In the course of being a gentleman, you have to be bold, step up and keep going in the face of any and all criticism. You can’t just sneak your way in….people need to know who you are…they need to know what you can do…they need to know that you believe in what you do….and if you aren’t bold enough to show them… once again, you might as well be peeing in the pool.