The carol, Little Drummer Boy is not one of my favorite songs during the holiday season. There are others I prefer to hear, but this past weekend, I was forced to take a closer look at it. The song is about a little poor shepherd boy who wanted to give a gift to baby Jesus and His mother, Mary. The shepherd boy had nothing but his drum. He asked if he could play and as the song went, Mary smiled and nodded. The little boy was pleased he could give something, even it if was as small and as insignificant as playing a drum, and Mary was pleased he gave what he could. To the shepherd boy, it was The Best He Had and I’m sure he was proud of it. It wasn't insignificant to him!
One week ago, I worked a fairly large job fair and was busy from the time it began to the very end. Twenty-five minute interviews, one after another, rating each one according to the interview form before me. Some did better than others. Some were very nervous, some not at all. The Best They Could. At one point towards the end of the day and after one of our interviews was completed, I noticed one candidate leaving the interview area and I made the comment to my partner, “Would you think to come to an interview dressed like that?” He wasn’t dressed horribly. He didn’t wear jeans and a t-shirt. He had on a pair of slacks, an older coat, and a shirt without a tie. He carried papers with him, probably copies of his resume and cover letter, maybe other material in hopes of setting himself apart from the rest. I just thought he could have dressed nicer. Without a pause or hesitation, my partner answered, “Maybe it was the Best He Had.” I was absolutely ashamed. One week later, I still feel ashamed. I judged rashly, poorly, and the only basis of judgment was the way he was dressed. How very small of me. In my postings, I call on each of us, me included, to do better for each other and for ourselves. I didn’t live up to that call. I failed miserably.
How often do we look at a person from the outside rather than from within? I had to have someone remind me, gently, that people do The Best They Can and often times, give The Best They Have. The poor shepherd boy gave the Best Gift He Could and it was accepted with a smile and a nod. The man at the interview came in the Best He Had. Who am I to judge? Am I that small that I looked at him and made a decision of “less than” based upon what he was wearing? I wonder how many times I’ve been judged in the same way – rashly. I think we all have and each of us knows how it feels. It hurts. We’re bewildered because we did the Best We Could.
I still feel ashamed. I know better. But as I stated in a previous post (If I Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda), I’ll chalk this up to a mistake, learn from it, and move on. I – we – have to learn from this. We can’t afford not to. Judgment hurts too many people, including ourselves. I have to do better. We have to do better.
Best He Had. Something to think about . . .
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!