The House Painter

| February 1, 2018

Our house is being painted and I’m chatting with Ernesto the painter.

I asked him if he worked alone or interacted with others. He said he interacted with others. His boss would send people who wanted a job to work with him to see if the boss should hire them.

Ernesto said, “First I see if they can do one job well before I involve them in other tasks. Some are one task people; others learn and can do more things.”

This quick assessment gave him an idea of where they could fit in. He then watched them closely for the first few hours. Teaching them how the work should be done. He’d go back to his work and come back to see if they knew what to do.

He made the time to observe them even when it slowed him down.

Ernesto commented that some listen and improve; that a few had common sense. The common sense ones found ways to do the job faster and still do it right.

Ernesto gave everyone three chances. He said, “If they don’t get it right the third time I tell the boss and let him decide what to do.”

He went on, “Some have had schooling which is good and bad. Good when they continue to learn and add to their education, bad when they are proud of their education and the job isn’t important enough nor are the people around them as educated as they.

Ask yourself, “Am I interacting with all the people around me or do I exclude some because of __________ you fill in the blank? Ernesto is a jewel with street smarts based on hard earned on the job training. He said things differently which were simple and eye-opening.

Are your eyes seeing and your ears hearing from those around you?

Do you have the eyes of the heart that make learning from others automatic? Automatic comes with caring about others as much as you care about yourself. Automatic comes with new glasses and seeing:

  • Everyone is a unique masterpiece that I can learn from.
  • A higher purpose is to honor these masterpieces.
  • Busy kills these intentions, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates

Once you’ve had a heart adjustment and put on the new glasses you’ll find relationships grow naturally. People will be attached to you. Who doesn’t like people who like them? Even the difficult ones will begin to interact differently with you.

There may be situations where you’ll feel rejected. Lean into them, please don’t disconnect. Disconnecting doesn’t build relationships, it builds suspicion. Also, check your motives. Manipulations won’t get you there, honest caring will, and caring is your trump card.

It’s the card where you say, “I’m sorry I wasn’t clear and you took it the opposite of what I intended. Here is what I wanted to say and you do a reset with new words, metaphors and a big smile.

If this feels awkward and you are apprehensive, good! Your discomfort is a clear signal that you’re growing. That you are in pursuit of doing good.