Stephen A. Peterson
What should one do when a person’s behavior angers you? Paul the Apostle’s solution to such a problem was stated in just a few words. Love such persons and be patient with them.
Army Staff Sergeant Colin Crowe, following a Company C meeting of Non-Commissioned Officers, complained bitterly about his new Platoon Leader. The Company’s newest officer didn’t seem to be working out well at all With Sergeant Crowe. When he comes to the Platoon area, he always checks light bulbs outside the officer area to make certain there are no dead or dying bugs in or around the light fixtures. If he finds bugs, he orders the men to immediately drop whatever they are doing to have the fixtures cleaned or bulbs removed. The Lieutenant constantly checks the arms room. It does not seem that anyone can clean a weapon to his satisfaction. Last week he ordered the Platoon to clean every rifle two or three times . he stayed in the arms room all day. For eight hours, the Platoon had to put up with his presence and harassment.
“Sergeant Crowe, can I offer you some advice?” said the Company First Sergeant. “However, if I give you my advice you must agree before I give it to do what I advise.”
“Okay, First Sergeant,” responded Staff Sergeant Crowe.
“Very well,” he said. “When the Lieutenant arrives in the Platoon area, invite him into your office, sit down with him and then invite him to either lunch or dinner off post at a restaurant of his choice.”
“What?” said Sergeant Crowe.
“Oh, you heard me, Sergeant.”
“First Sergeant, b-b-b-b-but…”
“Remember, Sergeant, you agreed to my suggestion. Sit down with the Lieutenant. Try to figure out how the both of you can make your Platoon a combat ready unit. I believe when you sit down with the Lieutenant, you’ll work things out. Now I’ve got to get to work and so do you. Let me know the outcome, Sergeant.”
Still aghast Staff Sergeant Crowe arranged a dinner meeting with the Lieutenant. Over an evening meal Sergeant Crowe and the Lieutenant worked through his objection for the Platoon. Sergeant Crowe and the Lieutenant became a leadership team. Within a matter of an hour, Sergeant Crowe came to view the Lieutenant as an intelligent, receptive, alert young officer with many very good ideas. The Lieutenant came to respect Sergeant Crowe’s experience, ideas and military knowledge. The Lieutenant responded to Sergeant Crowe’s kindness as the First Sergeant suspected he would. The First Sergeant also correctly surmised what the outcome of the meeting would bring—a better military unit. Staff Sergeant Crowe’s 2nd Platoon developed into the best, combat ready unit in the Company in less than a year.
Is there someone who angers you or tends to rub you the wrong way? Would it not benefit you to be kind to them as the Apostle Paul suggests? You might be surprised at the results. It may very well change their approach to life, their behavior, their attitude as well as yours!!
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