Gum Chewer

We need to see people through a 90% lens, not a 10% one. The 10%’s are the things that you do not like or annoy you about another person.

A group of high school students were invited to my presentation last week and a very insightful young man shared this:

“If I am annoyed by a classmate because he chews his gum in an annoying way, then that guy becomes ‘the annoying gum chewer guy’.” But if I only focus on his annoying habit I never get to know the guy himself. From now on I will get to know the guy, not just what bugs me about him.”

He heard the message loud and clear. There are always 10%’s about others but what is good about them?


It is 8:55 pm on a beautiful dark peaceful night. I am alone in the parking lot as I am carrying a chair from the store to my car. I need to keep busy. I need to keep my mind occupied. I have felt grief for days and tomorrow I have to be a pumped-up, motivational speaker. I have to get it together. I have worked, cooked, cleaned and now, I am decorating.

Darren and I lost one of our best friends. A man we loved like a brother and our children called “Uncle Rob”. I am trying to focus on the 90%s and all of the happy memories. I look up at the dark night sky filled with stars and smile. Rob loved a star-filled sky. I will miss him but I know he is at peace. Time to get this chair home.

Breaking the silence, a car pulls into the parking lot blaring Adele’s song, Hello. The lines, “Hello from the other side. I must have called a thousand times” are playing. The emotion of the past week takes over. I put the chair down in the parking lot and sit on it overwhelmed with my grief. What a sight that must have been!

I did eventually get it together and spoke the next day. As I sat in the airport, met the banquet staff and audience members, I was very mindful of how I felt. I felt more compassion for others. I love people and something about this difficult time made me love them even more. We all go through 10% times in our lives.

My dad has a saying, “Leave everyone like you may never see them again.” Be mindful of how you treat people. Speak kindly, hug them, feed them, drop by, call and love them. You will never regret that.

So in this love-filled month that is my challenge to you. Love others like you may never see them again.



On the radio program Focal Point, the host asked the listeners, “if I gave you $50 000 dollars today what would you do with it?”

His challenge was two fold; firstly it helped you to figure out what makes you the happiest. Would you donate it? Renovate with it? Give it to your family members? Buy a new car? By asking those questions it helped you to figure out if giving or receiving made you the happiest.

The second challenge was that even without the gift of $50,000 dollars could you still do some of what you were going to do with it. Could you still donate a bit, renovate a bit, buy a bit of a bigger car etc.

Very interesting reflection. I decided I was a mix of both, I would definitely renovate something but I would definitely give some of it away to those in need and some to treat the people I love.

What would you do with $50,000 dollars?

Positively Service

If you have carpets that are lifting get someone in to make them flat and nice. Not only does it look bad it is a serious tripping hazard. I am sitting in a hotel lobby right now and every second person is catching themselves on the carpet. One person remarked to the banquet manager “you should fix the carpet.” He said “oh ya that’s been our list for years.”