Character Quality of the Month
October 2019 – Initiative
Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it
To practice Initiative I will:
- contribute to the success of the whole team
- be part of the solution rather than the problem
- do what is right before being asked
- look for ways to help others
- not procrastinate
“Incense – Really?”
-Jill W Tomey
I first learned about initiative as a young adult when I was in my brother’s wedding. The wedding party was seated around the altar and the girls were on the side near the sacristy. During the ceremony, I saw a server come to the exit of the sacristy holding the Thurible which is a metal incense burner suspended from chains. I knew that the Bride and members of her family reacted to incense. Because of this, I couldn’t believe that they were having incense at the wedding. I just sat there. I felt like I should get up and stop it but fear kept me from moving.
As it turns out, the priest had not asked if they wanted incense. It is an honor to use it and he was doing it as an added surprise. Unfortunately, it backfired. When the priest came over to incense the couple, the bride told him then she was allergic. The priest quickly sent the Thurible back into the sacristy with a server but the damage was already done. The bride ended up with a headache for the rest of the day and the bride’s mother had to leave the church and miss the actual ceremony. She recovered enough later that evening to attend the reception but was still not feeling well. I will always feel responsible for not stepping up and stopping it.
Whenever I question whether I should step in and do something, I always remember that day, and it usually bolsters my courage to speak up or do something. I know there have been times that what I said or did may not have been necessary or even correct but I’d much rather apologize for overstepping than let something important go undone. Taking the Initiative often requires the added character qualities of Courage and Discernment so that you consider when and if it is appropriate to act and then to be bold enough to do it.
This month, feed your Initiative with Courage and Discernment.