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We All Can and Should Add Value...Always

Last week I had the privilege to attend and be invited to speak at a luncheon in Orange County, California honoring my close friend James “Watty” Watson, that benefited the Boy Scouts of America. I have known Watty very well for many years, but the evening prior I was struggling with how I might tie in my comments about him to the Boy Scout cause, especially given that neither Watty nor his two sons had ever been a scout. I also had never been a scout so I decided to do a little homework online. I discovered the Scout Law that reads: “A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly; courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. I knew that Watty embodied most all of those traits but wasn't so sure about the last one. I found “reverent”  in the dictionary defined as “expressing reverence” and then “reverence” as “profound, adoring, awed respect.”

As I thought about Watty and the notion of "deep respect" it hit me.
For those of you not fortunate enough to know him, Watty is always cheerful and always wholly present, and I mean ALWAYS. I have never met another person who I can say that about. As I considered that, I realized that showing up present and upbeat in every single encounter is the hallmark of respect. Watty is never a burden to anyone. He is always respectful of others’ lives and truly realizes the responsibility that each person implicitly has to others when in their presence. He always adds value to those with whom he comes into contact with.  He always makes everyone around him better, lifting his or her spirits with his buoyant way.  Watty truly epitomized all that the Boy Scouts seemed to strive for and was richly deserving of their honor.

This thought about Watty has lingered with me since, making me think that we could all become a bit more like Watty. I fantasize about what an amazing place the world would be if more people emulated Watty in recognizing the responsibility that we all have to those with whom we come into contact with, taking it upon ourselves to always bring our best, to be uplifting, and to always add value. In the immortal words of Louis Armstrong: "What a wonderful world that would be."

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