When I get up in the morning one of the important things I do is feed our two cats, William, a.k.a. Sir William of Lounge a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot a.k.a. Sir William at Large and Catherine, a.k.a. Princess Catherine of Chaos a.k.a. Her Royal Highness Catherine of Ramore. This is a small northern Ontario community we moved to recently. After putting out the food my next task is to give William his kitty treats. Catherine doesn’t like treats when she wakes up. She is a princess after all:) Before William gets his treats he is required to stand on his back paws. I value that kitty high five. It gives me an upbeat start to my day. I laugh as he seeks to get away with a half effort each time by sitting up a quarter and then half the way. When that fails he resigns himself that he will have to stand on his back paws all the way to get his treats.
In our busy lives how often do we high five others? I’m not talking merely about the physical act of giving someone a high five. What I am referring is the importance of encouraging others. It is all too easy to focus on what others are doing that is wrong. Try to balance criticism with praise for what a person is doing right
Every day offer a compliment to one person. I did that today in asking a supervisor not to formally reprimand an employee who was deserving of it for verbally abusing me. I focused on commending the supervisor for their company’s great work. That’s what grace is all about. It’s love given when lashing out would be the first instinctive thing to do, especially if we have been emotionally hurt. It is giving the person who has messed up a second chance. I offered a much-needed high five to that manager. When I did that he opened up to me about the challenges of his life and his position. He laughed as I joked with him that he could get that long hair hippie look going for him like the bosses in Undercover Boss and go undercover in his company. Who knows? He might do it.
The boss of the employee expressed interest in me sharing my experience confidentially in their next newsletter. I also believe I have gained a valuable contact.
You never know what will happen when you let grace in and give someone a high five.
Kevin Osborne, B.A., BTh with honors, D.D., D Sc., Diplomate in Creative Ministry and his wife, Karen, B.A. graduate divinity student Trinity College University of Toronto, are graduate Christian counseling students at St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. Kevin is a certified Christian counselor. He is a member of The Word Guild, a Christian writer’s group in Canada. If you are interested in having us speak at your company, church or organization sharing our overcoming story to encourage others, we can be reached at email@example.com