Last night in honor of D-Day, hubs watched a little bit of Saving Private Ryan. He wanted to see the Invasion of Normandy scene. He and I were raised by fathers who served in World War II and we have great respect for our military.
I was doing some housework and didn’t watch along with him. But while Swiffering the man cave I caught the little scene that made a huge impression on me the first time I saw the movie. It was early in the story and a secretary was typing the names of men who had died. She noticed that four Ryan brothers had been killed in battle. Rather than continuing along with her tasks, she alerted others to the Ryan family’s unthinkable loss. This revelation moved up the chain of command and was the premise for the entire movie.
That secretary made a difference because she wasn’t just going through the motions. She cared.
Yes, I know this particular WWII story is fiction, but the attributes of the characters are anything but. Tom Brokaw coined the term “The Greatest Generation” because of the character and honor of Americans who lived during that era. While most of us focus on the bravery and patriotism of those who served in the various war theaters, the people at home went the extra mile as well.
We now live in an age when someone going the extra mile gets one million hits on You Tube. If there’s an honest car mechanic in town, everyone spreads the word. Exquisite customer service is so rare, we are happily stunned when we are its beneficiary.
I’m not kidding you. Every time I view that scene in Saving Private Ryan I examine my own behaviors. Do I care? Do I do my best at every task? Did I give that last workout my best effort? Do I exceed the expectations of my agency’s donors, clients and board members? Likewise my coaching clients?
Catching that scene last night served as a wonderful reminder of how I want to live my life. I think I’ll do my best today.