Someone close to me recently shared a story about his son that I think is deep with a multitude of realizations and lessons we can all learn from.
The story starts with a young man, determined to earn his spot as a lifeguard. It is a prestigious position and competition is fierce. Hundreds of boys compete for the 13 or so positions and after rigorous testing over a three day period, a list is posted in the hollow halls of the neighboring school naming the top contenders.
Confident in his abilities and hopeful his performance ranked in the top 13, this young man entered the school to find his name on the list – missing. Crestfallen, disappointed, embarrassed, and confused as to why he wasn’t recognized and rewarded in this particular is name was not on the list, he implored his dad to find out more, especially why he didn’t make the lifeguard team. Like most parents, the dad felt his son should have been on the team, and was also heartbroken that his son had to learn the harsh realities of life so soon.
All the offices were closed, and frustrated that they couldn’t get answers, they sadly turned around to go home when they met a woman coming out of the building. They asked her about why his name didn’t appear, and in reply, she gave the standard answer that there simply wasn’t the time or the capability to go back and check on every boy whose parents thought their child was the best and deserved a place on the roster. Apparently, though, as she looked into the sadness and confusion in the young man’s eyes and felt the honest raw emotion in his heart, she had a change of heart and agreed to check his file and see what notes the coaches had made about his performance.
What she found surprised everyone as they all scrambled to comprehend the news. Not only was the young man supposed to be on the list, he was at the TOP of the list! Someone had made a mistake, at his expense, but fortunately someone, took the time to dig a little deeper, to verify the outcome.
The lessons here are many. Don’t give up. Don’t accept no for an answer. Dig a little deeper. Don’t be afraid to question. The truth can hurt or heal. Believe in yourself.