Celebrating D.A. Henderson, Doing Uncomfortable Things, and Patronization

From upstate NY to Baltimore, I have been a traveling man this week. Planes, trains, automobiles, and even a boat has me bringing you “TK Thoughts of the Week”:

  1. This week D.A. Henderson died. I will admit that I knew absolutely nothing about D.A. Henderson until I read the story of his death this week. Dr. Henderson was a public health official who was in charge of the commission to eradicate smallpox from the planet. In 1977, after only 10 years of effort, smallpox was eradicated, millions of lives were saved, and the first human disease in history was conquered. This is an amazing feat by a man I had never heard of. It made me wonder how many other amazing humans do I know absolutely nothing about? It might be time for us to celebrate these achievements in a greater fashion.
  2. When was the last time you did something that was completely uncomfortable? I am looking for places of personal growth and realize that almost all of the places to truly cause growth are going to require me to put myself in places where I am not all that comfy. I am going to be looking for those opportunities.
  3. Someone told me this week that I was being “patronizing”. This is a word I have heard many times and I thought I understood, but I looked it up to make sure I really understood it. It is defined as: “to treat with an apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority.” Reading this definition, I can see why the person thought I was “patronizing” them. But the fact was that what I was doing really was “to treat someone with overt kindness that was only offered because I have suffered from the same exact situation.” I freely and openly offer thoughts to people all of the time. I do this to anyone and everyone when I see ways that I think I can be helpful. I almost never do it from a place of feeling superior, but more from a place of a guy who has been in a hole before and wants to offer a way out. I never want to be thought of as patronizing and fully knowing the definition drives that fact home.

May your weekend be filled with fast horses, lots of smiles, and a touch of bourbon.