He said he wanted to show me something so he pulled out his phone and scrolled through the photos and stopped on this pencil sketch of an owl. Big eyes and a small beak. You can see it.
He said he drew it for his son and put it in his lunchbox.
He flashed this big smile. The proud dad smile.
And he said it wasn’t the only one. That for awhile he has been doing this.
It was an example of this small act where he would pack his sons lunch and put in a little drawing. His son can’t read yet. He goes to pre-k twice a week.
He hasn’t talked about it.
When deciding to do the sketches, he didn’t poll people to see if he should or shouldn’t do it.
He didn’t ask for permission. He just did it.
His son loves it.
He recently found out that this small act has a big ripple effect beyond his son.
In fact, the consistency and intentional act has now created a routine at school where his son proudly shows off that days sketch for the class to discuss. The kids and teacher all get involved. It’s special.
His talent and time are being used in a specific way to make this magical moment for his son (and the classroom).
He’s shinning a light in this small way.
In the ancient book of Matthew (ch 5:16), there’s this great line that says: “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
This is an example of that.
It’s also an act of love and courage and faithfulness.
His story… The picture. Me imagining the classroom talking about it…
It made me tear up.
I could have cried, but held back.
It’s not just his son or that classroom… The story touched me too.
And the ripple continues.
This is a great illustration of a person who is clear vision for how he wants to parent and influence his son and the values that matter to them.
There’s more to this story.
Yesterday an author I appreciate, Bob Burg, tweeted:
Happiness: a genuine and ongoing feeling of joy and peace of mind, the result of living congruently with one’s values.
How serendipitous that I was able to see my friend, truly happy and living in a moment that was created ONLY because he was living congruently with his values.
And this matters. The congruent life.
That’s why I talk about vision, values and velocity when I work with people who want to accomplish things in their life – at home or at work.
Vision, values and velocity are all connected. The help unify and make things congruent.
When we are clear on who we are, what our vision of the good life is, and have the character/values to support that vision, we are able to experience joy and happiness and let our light shine – effortlessly. Or at least mostly effortlessly. Some times its challenging and requires sacrifice, but that’s ok.
The ancient book of Hebrews (ch 13:6) speaks to this: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
When you are clear on the vision and your values, the sacrifices are easier and more purposeful.
It turns out that we can show love, be happy, and make an impact by giving a piece of us away rather than keeping it all to ourselves.
Do you know what matters most to you? How about what’s best to give away for others?
If you’re not quite living in a way that your talents are being used to make an impact or you’re not feeling joy and peace, then you may enjoy my ebook, Zero In On Your Best Work. It’ll help you clarify some things and get on track with a clear vision and true to your values.
If you’ve got your own owl story or something to say, leave a comment below.