Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I have spent the past several days going back and forth to  Fredericksburg, Texas from San Antonio, preparing to close my bed and breakfasts.  As I enter town I see the Nimitz Museum and the birthplace across the street of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Yesterday I remembered one of his famous quotes that has stuck with me for years."God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless."  Perhaps sometimes that feels like beating your head into a concrete wall and sometimes you wonder why  you are even trying.  When these thoughts float in and out of my head, I am assured that most of the time and as far as I know,  I am doing the right thing.  And more importantly, I am doing the right thing for the right reasons.  There are no hidden agendas or ulterior motives or payoffs.

I thought about Admiral Nimitz's words most of the day while working. Then a conversation tonight with a friend cemented the deal. I thought about how fundamentally easy it is to do the right thing. If you have integrity, then nothing else matters. And if you don't have integrity, the same, nothing else matters.  I am surrounded daily by people in my business, patients and injured soldiers and friends and neighbors.  They watch me, observe me and some are jealous, some glad they are not me, and some try to emmulate me and some not.  It is a burden to carry some of the time and then there are other times when I realize my actions, my life, and my gifts to the world may be the only Bible some people will ever read. So I try to always do the right thing. 

This isn't always accomplished to everyone's satisfaction, but perhaps there is a reason for that.  They don't 'get it'.  They are thinking there should be a payoff for them.  They should get something out of this.  They will be nice, because   then they will get a raise, get their ego stroked, they will be noticed, they will receive a plaque to put on the wall, or they will get the gold watch. 

But what about doing something because it is quite simply the right thing to do?  I just finished wiring an old lamp.  And as I did so I thought about how we are all wired differently.  But why can't we all strive to be good, to do the right thing, just to be good.  Why do we need a payoff? Why do we need the praise and accolades of others. Isn't being good, good enough.  It seems simple. Abraham Lincoln said, "When I do good, I feel good.  When I do bad, I feel bad.  That's my religion."

Everything a person does and everything a person shows you, tells you who they are.  Their actions are quite simply a self-portrait.  The question is - are they proud enough of their actions to put an autograph on their self portrait? Are their actions done for the right reasons?

Watching special needs kids read to Penny's from Heaven Foundation therapy dog Xena today at Ft. Sam Elementary School taught me a great lesson.  These children, often with one hand resting on Xena's head, and the other hand holding a book, struggled with each word and sentence.  But it was in their struggling that they showed me who they were.  They tried and tried again.  They wanted to please and they tried until they got it right.  They tried because Xena was attentive and observant and non judgmental.  They tried because it made them proud.  It made them feel good.  They tried because it was the right thing to do. They didn't do it for applause, approval, congratulations, honor or admiration.  They did it because it was the right thing to do.

Doing good things for the wrong reasons doesn't make it right. That doesn't mean that doing the right thing doesn't bring us payoffs.  But the payoffs have to be won by the right reasons. 

The "Special Needs" teacher, Miss Laura, went through dog training classes, worked diligently with her boxer to achieve the results she wanted.  She wanted a fine, solid therapy dog.  Months ago in her essay to me stating why she wanted a therapy dog, she said she just knew this is what Xena was meant to do.  Today on her first day in the Reading Education Assistance Dog Program Xena proved her right.  Laura went through all of this work for the right reasons.  She struggled to get to class on time from across town in rush hour traffic with her dog, missed dinner with her family, came when she was tired, and all for the right reasons.  She was determined.  She was doing the right thing  for the right reasons.  And yes she received a reward, a payoff, as each child read to Xena and then was allowed to give her one little kibble as a reward. 

You see -doing the right thing for the right reasons is the reward. 


“Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.”

~Warren G. Bennis~


That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.

~William J. H. Boetcker~

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.”

~Anne Lamott~


Please help us support our dogs in the READ program.
Two hundred and fifty dollars will support one dog for one year.
210 273 6471

1 comment:

  1. WOW! All of your postings makes me reflect. I am truly blessed to have you in my life & can't wait until my Chief can touch the lives of others. Thank you for all you do. You are truly an amazing woman!!!~Wendy