Do You Know a Stand-Up Guy or Stand-Up Gal?
Are You a Stand-Up Person for Someone?
My dad was a Stand-Up Guy, and I didn’t know it. The other night I was talking to my mom about love and she shared a story about my dad. Many of you know my parents met and married seven days later. (Read that romantic story here)
Sitting in the convertible on the beach under a full Miami moon, my dad proposed and my mother turned him down. She gestured to her hearing aids, two large transistors in the pockets of her dress and the chords going to her ears and said, "I can’t hear well and you deserve to marry someone without a hearing problem." My dad responded, "That will never be a problem." "We will take care of it." And he did. My mom said, in the many years that they were married and she still had the hearing problem, he never once said, "You are not listening." Or "You need to pay attention." In all those years he never in any way mentioned it or demeaned her or made her feel less than." Not once. She said, "He saw me as a whole person, so I could see myself that way." Now by this time I am crying on the other end of the phone, because I didn’t know this about my dad and my heart is just filling up. I fell in love with my dad again. I thought about how much love they had. It would have been so easy for anyone to view such a disability as weakness against their partner.
My mom went on to say that my dad spent years researching her hearing problem and after I was born finally found a doctor who could help at the Mayo Clinic and my mother had surgery, in fact eventually six surgeries which my father researched, interviewed doctors about and arranged every other detail to make happen. My dad was a Stand-Up Guy. Suddenly, so many things about the deep affection my parents had for each other, how they always held hands, how she looked at him with love, even though he was a tough man to love at times made sense. For me this story was a revelation and it made me think about all the Stand-Up Guys and Stand-Up Women I know. The people who do the right thing, the moral and good thing, who give of themselves can heal, change and inspire you. They can help you stand up in life. My father died when I was in college and my parents didn’t tell this story to my sisters and me and I am so glad my mom shared it.
I have been asking friends and audience members to share stories of their stand up friends, family colleagues and more. I have heard some beautiful, heart tugging stories. Stories about doctors that serve patients in extraordinary ways, stories about special moms and dads, of support through divorce, job loss, illness and depression. I have heard stories about open hearted mentorship, and even a story about a guy who talked on the phone to the wee hours so that a friend who was struggling could fall asleep comforted with the phone against her ear. What a great gift it is to know a Stand-Up Person.
I would love to hear more stories of Stand-Up People, so please send them on. Write it down, just a few words, or share it in voice to text or record it and then please share it. I want to hear about these people in your life and what they have meant to you. In my body language programs on deception detection and my programs on leadership I share a method you can use to recognize if someone is credible, if they are a person of integrity. You can read the short version of the method here: http://www.pattiwood.net/article.asp?PageID=10452
Giving of yourself, being selfless, even for moment, will come back to you in unexpected ways and will enlarge your heart. To access your own Stand-Up Self, pull your shoulders back a little, bring your head high, open your heart and know the strength and love inside you that always gives you the opportunity to Stand Up!