I was driving along yesterday listening to CBC when I heard an interview with Don Cherry…the outspoken commentator on Hockey Night in Canada. The guy says what he thinks, and isn’t always very tactful about it. I suppose that’s his shtick…he is so brazen in his comments that he really gets a reaction out of his listeners. It must work for him, and it certainly works for Hockey Night in Canada…they’ve had a few close calls over the years, when what he said was so “out there” that they’ve taken heat for not firing him. But overall, many tune in to see what crazy tie he is wearing, or the fabric of his suit (apparently made of curtain fabric on occasion).
What surprised me was the story he told of his efforts to be a Cadillac car salesman when he hockey career first ended at 36. He said that he was a lousy car salesman because he was too shy to approach people cold and start striking up a conversation as they came in to look at cars. He hated having to make himself begin conversations with total strangers, and looked forward to rainy days when no one would come to look at cars.
That struck me as interesting…and reminded me again that we are complex creatures with many sides to us. I wouldn’t have used “shy” as a possible descriptor of Don Cherry. Who knew that there is a shy part to this man?
Reminds me of some clients I’ve had.
- Successful, competent business people who are terrified of opening up to a spouse–and feel like they can’t talk about it with anyone because they wouldn’t be understood, and have no one they feel comfortable being that vulnerable with. They are the “go to” people, they don’t show their vulnerable side to others.
- Quiet, shy people who feel like no one notices them…and then they bring in poetry with passion that could make a person weep. The world misses the richness of their contribution to society
- Calm, nurturing women who have spent their lives caring for others in remarkable ways–who love their families and communities but have a part that is seething with anger because of how they have not nurtured their own selves, and have passed up on their own dreams as they have actively helped others achieve theirs.
It challenges me, in my own life, to not put people into categories, or boxes that define them…if we allow, and look, and ask, we can discover previous unknown parts of people. Can you imagine what a remarkable gift that can be to someone this season–to allow a loved one to express a part of him or herself to you that they normally don’t allow themselves to display? To extend the grace to someone that says, “Be who you are, not what I expect you to be”. A remarkable gift of freedom.