Cindy Novotny

Pay Attention to More than Yourself!


You have no idea what the people who work right next to you are feeling.  I am a very positive person (no surprise to those who know me), but I know that my positivity can be un-nerving to those around me who are struggling with difficulties.  

Sometimes we don’t even see what is right in front of us.  Recently I was talking to a complete stranger who was seated next to me on a plane.  He seemed totally happy with no worries in the world. It wasn’t until we started to have a ‘real’ conversation that I found out his son was struggling with drugs.  

I immediately said how sorry I was for him and he said, "you don’t need to apologize to me – I live with this everyday as we struggle to keep him clean and off drugs.”  He then reminded me that no matter what is going on in his life, he still has to get up and go to work and he still needs to be positive with his employees and clients.  

Following this conversation, especially this week, I have talked to more people who are dealing with problems around drugs, alcohol and other personal issues.  This should not be just ‘their’ problem, but all of our problems.  We need to help one another out, ask better questions of how we can help and be more of a real support and less of a cheerleader.  

I have always tried to start my day with a pep talk - I have to be better today than I was yesterday.  But this week, I decided to look at others more closely.  I am trying to find a way into their hearts so that at the end of my day, whether I get a standing ovation or not, I can help others get through this madness called life.  

We recycle, give back to the environment and worry about the economy and global warming.  How about we look at mankind this week and try helping a fellow man?