A good friend of mine was a U.S. Navy pilot and recently introduced me to Admiral Dell Bull. Admiral Bull told me a story about a man named Jeff Fredrick who also served in the military.
Jeff had a great respect for flags and felt that damaged flags shouldn’t be on display. In fact, whenever he drove by a damaged flag, he would stop his car, get out and pull it down.
One day Jeff saw a flag in really bad shape, pulled over to rescue the flag and presented it to Admiral Bull.
Bull framed the flag and brought it to a speech he made in front of 10,000 people. As he held up the decrepit flag in his hands, all who were in attendance at the meeting were shocked to see the deteriorated state of this symbol that’s supposed to represent our nation.
He then told the story of the flag. It had been on display on a highway where hundreds of thousands of people would pass by without even blinking an eye. They chose to do nothing. When you pass by something that’s out of place or you see something that’s wrong and you don’t do anything, you are in essence saying it’s okay.
Bull said to the crowd that he brought the flag in to let everyone know that we cannot walk past our problems and ignore wrongdoings.
It was a powerful message. Who hasn’t been guilty of something like this? We all get apathetic; we all get selectively ignorant and we all walk by our problems. We don’t want to say anything, we don’t want to disrupt anything and we don’t want to be confrontational. Essentially we’re just lazy, making a passive choice to head towards mediocrity.
The moral of the story, besides the fact we should always respect the flag of the United States of America, is we should never walk by our problems.
How many times are you in an office and you know something is wrong, like garbage on the floor or a dissatisfied customer? How many times have you done something about it and how many times has this gone ignored?