August 30, 2013

How To Become "Uncommonly" Good

“Yes, ma’am”…”May I be excused, please”…”Thank you, sir.” What could be considered common courtesy phrases, seem to have become increasingly uncommon these days. And it’s even more rare to hear […]


“Yes, ma’am”…”May I be excused, please”…”Thank you, sir.” What could be considered common courtesy phrases, seem to have become increasingly uncommon these days. And it’s even more rare to hear these words coming out of the mouths of an entire generation today!

It’s just so sad that we now take notice when we hear or experience simple, common courtesy and polite behavior, and now consider the opposite attitude as the “normal” we would encounter every day. Which leads me to an interesting story I heard that says so much about who we’ve become within our culture.

Someone brought this story to my attention, since I don’t regularly listen to all the “doom and gloom” on TV or radio news programs. If I’m putting all that negative into my brain, I can’t expect positive to come out! But, every now and then something unusual happens that makes me stop and think about how this relates to my beliefs and personal values. And this is one of those things!

Headlines screamed about four college athletes being caught on convenience store surveillance cameras. You know what’s coming next, right? You sigh and think “What…another one? What did they do to make the news.” And, it’s so pathetic we’re NOT shocked and even more tragic that this has become so common that we wonder why it even made headlines!

Wow, what does that say about us and where we live? It kind of makes us wish for those earlier times when hearing about a group of kids behaving badly was really shocking. For all their childhood mishaps, could you imagine Beaver Cleaver or Opie Taylor doing something so bad it made nationwide headlines?

But, Beaver had parents who were really invested in raising their children and even though Opie’s dad was a “single parent” he made sure his boy never strayed from the straight and narrow. Well, the next part of the story about these four young men in New Jersey is REALLY going to shock you!

Guess what? They made news because of what they did after they entered the store…no guns were involved; nobody was wearing ski masks; the store clerk wasn’t even threatened. In fact, no clerk could even be seen on the surveillance video. Seems these young men, last Sunday afternoon, realized they needed batteries and sunglasses. So, they stopped by this store and walked in to pick up the items.

When it came time to check out, no sales people could be found. Hey, I know what you’re thinking…probably what everybody who saw the headlines or heard the beginning of this story thought. But, when these young men could not find anyone to ring up their sale, they carefully figured out the total amount of their purchases – INCLUDING TAX – and left the correct cash and change on the counter then smiled and waved at the camera!

What?! It seems the front door lock on the store had malfunctioned and the interior lights were partially lit, so they had no way of knowing the business was actually closed. The owner was notified by police of a tripped alarm in her store and when she arrived, discovered nothing was missing and found the cash on the counter.

So grateful, the owner tracked down the four athletes and rewarded them each with a $50 store credit toward any future purchases. What amazingly honorable young men! And, how sad is it that we have reached a point in our country where respectful, ethical, faithful, courteous behavior in young people such as this earns national headlines.

Now, I don’t know these young men or their families. All I do know is that someone – whether a parent, a mentor, a family member – raised these boys right! The fact this story has gone viral tells us that this type of conduct has become all too uncommon and it certainly didn’t happen by accident. It took intentional action on the part of someone to properly groom these kids for a successful future.

Let’s face it, we’re counting on these young people to run our country and trusting them to look out for us in our old age! Considering what we’re seeing out there, and how unalarmed our culture is by this idea, don’t you think it’s time we started making deliberate, thoughtful and designed plans now to invest in our future by investing in the next generation? Join me in grooming the future leaders of our country and our world to be uncommonly successful!

Commit to creating a world where common courtesy, respect and thoughtfulness are once again, well, common! Print this out, share it with those in a position to influence the lives of our next generation and be sure to post this link on your Facebook and Twitter, as well as via email.

And, I look forward to visiting with you live this Sunday night on The Dani Johnson Show on your TV and radio at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT.


In great faith,


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