by Tim Connor, CSP
There is a Native American legend that says - you will only get into Heaven leaning on the shoulders of someone you helped while you were here.
So I figure if I have helped a few million people around the world as a speaker and author I will have a better shot. Well I once told this story to an audience. and at the end someone came up to me and said they were offended by the analogy of Native Americans and Heaven. So I asked them if they were also offended by my hiking story and its reference to nature and courage and they looked at me like I was crazy. I decided to ask them one more – that if my reference to my favorite color being Kelly Green offended them and guess what - they just walked away from me and the conversation.
My good friend Charlie “Tremendous” Jones once told me while we were having a very serious conversation.
“Tim, if you believe and you are right you have everything to gain. If you are wrong you have nothing to lose. If you don’t believe and you are wrong you have everything to lose.”
I was once told by a client that I couldn’t use the word God during my keynote presentation. I asked them what other words or illustrations were off limits. They said – nothing that was it. I told them to find another speaker.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not hired to preach the Scripture, God or Salvation. And I don’t stand in front of a group of people I have been paid to address on a sales, leadership or motivation topic and do any of that. However, if every now and then the word God or Christ or Jesus slips out of my mouth – it’s simple – I can’t separate who I am from what I do and I am not going to edit or apologize according to current ‘political correctness’ rules, standards, expectations or stupid people who have varying or double standards.
Last year I had hip replacement surgery and during the procedure I was given a heart attack that caused me to have to have open heart surgery 45 days later. Prior to going into the operating room, I told my daughter and a few close friends if I come out of this alive, God isn’t finished with me yet. If I don’t - He is and have a nice life.
Believe it or not I had a client tell me I couldn’t tell this story or use this example. Well, they had to find another speaker because I asked him to give me a list of all of the things I couldn’t say or reference. So I suggested they put together a list of do’s and don’ts for their next speaker. Want the job? Call me I’ll be happy to give you their contact information but – good luck with your future career!
In the end staying true to what I believe may offend some people and my answer is simple – don’t read what I write, don’t pay me to speak or walk away from a conversation with me, but my standards are not made by the evolving expectations of culture or social media or the varying rules of countries.
Among the places I spoke last year was in Greece, Ireland, and Singapore and my message is the same. When I let persuasive Idiots, who have no standards, varying rules and have no idea what they believe or stand for or they do and these go against my spiritual beliefs I will not cave because of your position, power, fame or influence. I have several life Mantras and one of them is simply – “I was not put on the Earth for your approval.”
In conclusion, there are three areas I would ask you to consider:
It is not my job to save you, as many believers believe, but it is my job to be able to look in the mirror and say to myself – I am who I am because God made me that way. I will respect others and their beliefs - as how their life turns out is not up to me, rather it is up to them.
You are not in charge of what comes out of my mouth or is written on paper in my books or articles – you are not in charge of me or my life – whether you were my parents, former spouse, former boss, former client, or best friend.
Doing and saying the right things, is always the right thing to do. ##