Forgiveness is on every street corner.
You know, a lot of people feel I’m a hardass about some things. And frankly, when it comes to business, I am. The truth is, you need to be a hardass in business, because in business, “soft” and “successful”… don’t necessarily mix together to create something good, any more than chocolate and mustard mix well together, to create a tasty dessert.
On the other hand, I get a lot of feedback from offline newsletter subscribers of mine (test-drive my offline newsletter here: http://www.kingofcopy.com/ssnl ) about how this is an interesting dichotomy, because they get to see another side of me — the one with my family, and… obviously, I’m not such a hardass with them.
That’s because “hardass” and “family” also doesn’t mix well together, either.
Now what I’m going to tell you today is something that may throw you off, so sit tight. I’m going to tell you about something I feel VERY badly about, and hopefully, in the process, I’ll be able to forgive myself a little bit.
Monday, my younger son Casey (he’s 15) and I went to the gym. We were about halfway through our workout when there was a loud commotion over by the treadmills. Apparently, a man had fallen off the treadmill, and he was now lying on the floor, shaking in convulsion-like twitches.
This isn’t something you typically see, and as a result, there’s no “norm” for it registered in your head, experientially — so it feels very weird witnessing this. It’s one of those moments when things seem to “slow down” right in front of you.
The man was around my age, somewhat overweight but not gigantic or anything like that, and he was just lying there on the ground.
First thing you do in a situation like that is, of course, you grab your kid and hold on to him. When mortality is flashed so closely in front of you, it’s only natural to hold on to your own, and… to hold on to it as tightly as you can.
Now when I was a kid, I studied sociology for one year, back in high school. If I recall, sociology is the study of group dynamics, and one of the founding principles of sociology is that individual responsibility is surrendered to a group when you are part of this group.
So for example, this is the reason why it’s easier for a group of people to ignore a homeless person, en masse — or to NOT stop and help someone in need on a busy street. Everyone in the group has surrendered their personal responsibility to the group as a whole.
And here’s where I screwed up.
You see, I KNOW this principle, and I’ve always prided myself on my ability to “rise above” it, ignoring it and doing what’s best, even when most others march in silent compliance, unaware why.
Now back to the gym.
Shortly after that man had, what some folks feel was a fatal heart attack, they swiftly closed the gym and asked all the members to leave. And en masse, on the way out… I saw two young children — an older sister, perhaps 12 or 13, and her younger brother, perhaps 9 or 10 — sitting down and sobbing near the front exit of the gym.
I wanted to go over to them and see if they were O.K., but… I didn’t. A million things flashed through my mind at the moment. I thought, “Surely they aren’t children of the man who was lying on the floor inside — they’d be by his side, right?”… and then I thought, “Where’s Casey?”… and then, “If these were my kids I’d want someone there for them.”… then, “I need to help those kids and make them feel safe so they will stop crying.”
But in the end, I did nothing.
And, I have felt sick about this, ever since. In the end, I surrendered my responsibility to the rest of the group, just like every other nimrod in there, and I can’t go back and fix it now.
When I saw those kids crying, I thought of my own children crying… and then I thought of myself crying as a little kid… and then… I simply froze.
I don’t have all the answers, that’s for sure. And sometimes… I don’t have any.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. Only 2 Days LEFT to get your hands on this month’s Seductive Selling Newsletter & Audio Success CD Of The Month! Discover how I TRIPLED a client’s business on page 3, and get $1,391 worth free gifts when you test-drive it here: http://www.kingofcopy.com/ssnl