Friday, October 28, 2011

In praise of three gentlemen

Last week one of my coworkers told me a story that made me think that chivalry is not dead, that there are men (other than my husband) who are true gentlemen. The story was that after the Women’s Leadership Council toured the Center of Hope, the head of Social Services, Ronn Glosson, stood in the parking lot to make sure the visitors got safely in their cars and on their way. What I didn’t see was that he also stayed in the parking lot until the last female staff member drove away (It was Lindsay and she was checking voicemail and playing with her iPhone, she felt guilty when she realized he had been waiting for her to leave). He went beyond what was expected of him because that’s who he is. I thought I would blog about it as soon as I had a small collection of stories about gentlemen, never dreaming that I’d meet the next one two days later.

A radio show host was recording an interview with last year’s top bell ringer, Samuel Folks. Samuel is 60, soft spoken and mannerly. He revealed that he had been on the first all-black youth baseball team in Tulsa that was allowed in an all-white league. When the interviewer asked him if he had experienced racial injustice, he replied “I’ve found that when you’re looking for racial injustice you’ll find it. When you’re not looking, you don’t find it.” I can only guess that even as a youth, Samuel handled himself with dignity whether he was treated with dignity or not.

My third brush with a gentleman happened the same week at a celebration of Dick Williamson’s 40 years with TD Williamson. Dick is not only on our advisory board, but also on the National Salvation Army board. He also volunteers extensively. His company’s motto is “Integrity, Initiative, Interdependence.” Employees characterize him as a “servant leader,” and I can see that in his humble style and quiet leadership. I first met Dick when he taught a Sunday School class I attended 15 years ago. In eight days, I’ve gathered enough information for a post that I thought would take months to do. Thank you, gentlemen, you enrich life for all of us.


No comments:

Post a Comment