Saturday, October 10, 2020

100 People


100-People, that is a good average for how many people each of us know well enough to have made an impact on.  40 years ago I read a book by Joe Girard, at the time he was in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most successful car salesman in the world.  He worked for Merollis Chevrolet in Detroit for years.  He wrote in the book about going to the funeral for one of his long time customers.  The funeral director was just putting out the memorial cards.  Joe asked, how do you know how many cards to print? The response was about 100, the average person knows or influences about 100 people enough for the person's death to be noticed. 

My office recently hosted a virtual memorial service for a colleague who died earlier this year.  Most of had never done a Zoom memorial service before.  We had some concerns, would anyone show up? What if no one wanted to say anything?  We pushed forward, inviting the world at large, assembling a list of people who agreed up front to talk for a few minutes each, knowing we had at least 20-30 minutes of kind words.  We needn't have worried.  About 120 people showed up, there were so many people who wanted to share memories that we went on for nearly 90 minutes.  There were tears, and laughter, moments of recognition, and revelations of ways she touched the life of people that few - maybe only one- person knew about. 

How does this connect to Joe Girard.  Joe surmised that if you make one person happy, they might tell the 100 people that you are a good person, hurt someone and they will tell 100 people you are evil and not to be trusted.  

So are your footprints in the sand, kindness or evil today?     

21 comments:

  1. My footprints are just big and not in the metaphorical way.

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  2. I'm go either way. I'm like a anti hero....i can be bad to do good. But overall probably kindness.

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  3. I'd like to think kindness, but it could be patchy.

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    1. We all have our breaking point.

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  4. Today? Kindness ... mostly. In my earlier iterations? Sadly, a mixed bag.

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    1. I am much less of an asshole than I was 30 years ago.

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  5. In years past I used my sometimes overly vicious sense of humor as a weapon. I found my self to be a five foot tall man in a six foot tall world, and yes, now I can see I had a chip on my shoulder. I never meant to hurt anyone's feelings. In retrospect I could have failed with my best intentions. Today? I'm trying my best to be more sensitive about everyone's feelings.

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    1. I sometimes worry, that the world has lost its sense of humor.

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  6. I, too, perhaps fall into that ag of quick, sharp, biting wit, which can sometimes be seen as mean, but is always meant as a joke.
    Today, the wit is still there, but kindness takes the first steps.

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    1. You have the strength to say things, others only think.

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  7. I'll stick with kindness. Sometimes it's difficult in today's heated environment.

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    1. I wore my political hat this morning, the cashier at Safeway was not amused.

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  8. I think I am 99% kind; just look out for that 1% bitch if you piss her off though!

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    1. At least 99% sweetie, but we all have our breaking point.

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  9. A virtual memorial service? Interesting!

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    1. It was my first. We created a program, with information about her life, a list of people who had committed to speak, some photos and a link to an online video collage of photos. Without being able to get together, we wanted to do something (Lori worked with us for 30 years, a couple of my colleagues were here when she was hired.) I have to say it worked, having video feeds from about half of the attendees was nice, you could scroll through the feed and see people you knew. The private chat function was turned on, I traded messages with a couple of people.

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  10. I did not go out today but I called Father which was a kindness.

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