We Are Who We Are when No One is Looking | Shepley Wood Products
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We Are Who We Are when No One is Looking

Too often we find ourselves in a world of silos. We are aware of ourselves but not necessarily aware of others. It’s easy to be self-absorbed, just as it is easy to be defensive. It is harder to think outside ourselves and also to simply pay it forward. I got the following in an e-mail from the wife of a long time Shepley employee.

"I wanted to share a little moment I had this afternoon as I was leaving work, after a relatively hard day. As I was taking a left (gasp!) onto Rt. 28 today leaving work, I was waiting patiently for an opening to take a left. I saw lots of cars go by, lots of landscapers and local business trucks whiz by me and even turn into my street with no signal. And then I saw a huge Shepley box truck coming and when he saw me, wanting to take a left, he courteously stopped as he saw the oncoming car was also stopping to let me take my left-hand turn. At that moment, I was so proud of being affiliated with Shepley Wood Products and I enthusiastically waved thank you to the Shepley driver!"

"It seems like such a trivial thing, but in a world where it seems like everyone is in such a rush and more and more demanding, it is such an act of kindness to have someone let you go first."

Our driver had no way of knowing who he was showing this courtesy to in traffic. She wasn’t driving a vehicle he could recognize, and I am pretty sure they have never met. She was just a single face in a sea of many summertime faces on Cape Cod. What he did was a wonderful act of paying it forward. It may have been something he barely remembered, because he is a thoughtful guy who carries himself professionally, but that same small act made another person’s day. I truly believe that paying things forward creates contagious attraction. Small acts of kindness or thoughtfulness create a path for other good things to happen….and then they do. When we show the behavior that we want to receive ourselves, we are modeling it for others to try on. If it looks good….let’s wear it! Wear it enough, it becomes fashionable. Looking good tends to lead to feeling good, and this is the power of paying it forward!

While writing this article, (literally while typing these words), our Hyannis office receptionist Deb came up and handed me some money. She said that a customer at our front counter had dropped it off for me with instructions to “do something good with it”. We had done something good for him a few weeks ago and he chose this moment to pay it forward to someone else! The laws of attraction at work! I found him before he left the office and made a suggestion as to where we could put his money to work, he said he liked the idea. Mission accomplished!

My Aunt Nancy had a great outlook on life. She said if we do one thing for ourselves and one thing for someone else, each day, we’re off to a good start on finding life balance. Paying it forward isn’t waiting for things to happen, it’s a conscious effort to leave things better than you found them. Funny how going the extra mile can still be the shortest way to your ultimate destination!