#362 southern hospitality

I just got back in town from a vacation my sister and I took to Little Rock, Arkansas.  I fully understand that this is not a destination choice for most people, but my sister is on a quest to see all 50 capitols (this was #43) and most Memorial Day weekends I join her.

The inside of the capitol had the requisite stained glass and marble — but what was more impressive was one person in particular that we met — State Representative Richard Womack from District 18.  He saw us when we were trying to peek between the locked doors to get a glimpse of the House chambers.  Instead, he brought us around through the private entrance and took us onto the floor from the inside (even though non-representatives are not allowed there and we’re not supposed to tell!)  It is Mr. Womack’s first term as representative; he is a carpenter by trade and fosters several children, but decided that he did not agree with the candidate who was running and so he “had” to run himself.  He chatted with us about how much he has learned in his first term, and how he will certainly run again because he thinks he can make a bigger difference now that he has the process figured out.  

Mr. Womack and I may agree on little about the political platforms, but my sister and I were both impressed by his commitment.  He publicly exhibited courage by expressing his beliefs and standing up for what he thought was right.  Instead of complaining about the process, or grumbling about the person who was running, he took action and raised his hand himself.  He is a family man and entrepreneur who is making sacrifices of his time and talent to do what he believes is helping the public good.  It was a live version of Mr. Womack Goes to Little Rock, with the hope and innocence that it entails.  He was inspiring!

Mr. Womack did what appeared to come naturally to him — extend a generous dose of Southern Hospitality and give two perfect strangers a few minutes of his time.  The personal stories that he shared and the conversation we had with him was one of the highlights of our trip.  

Two lessons to think about today —
1.  If you believe in something, raise your hand and volunteer to take action on its behalf — don’t watch from the sidelines.  Have the courage to take a bold step.
2.  A small gesture of kindness can go a long way in making a lasting impression on the beneficiary of your gift.  Little actions are significant too.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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