Friday, August 7, 2015

A Modern-Day Alchemist Inspires With Peanuts


Normally, that sort of cry at a baseball game resonates only when you're actually in the mood to have some peanuts. Otherwise, it blends into the glorious background noises that comprise a gorgeous summertime evening of Durham Bulls baseball. One would think that amid the great hits, diving catches, and 6 or 7 foul balls hit into our seating section alone, that vendor cry would go unnoticed completely.

Not so at the Durham Bulls baseball field in Durham, North Carolina. Watch this man in action--20 seconds is all you need to understand his appeal--and his ability to divert attention from the main attraction.

Full disclaimer: I have never met this man, and know nothing of his story, but he's an icon at the park, and memorable beyond compare. I don't know his background or what his "day job" is, but I imagine he has a few tales to tell!

This man doesn't know his "clients" like I might know my students, but he engages and entertains, and models what I think of as "generosity of the spirit".  A modern-day alchemist, he tweaks what many might consider an ordinary job, to make his work extraordinary. Much of that extraordinariness (isn't that a word? :-) ) stems from his relational (as opposed to transactional, where others feel used) interactions, witnessed in how he ensures people feel valued in the process of achieving his results. ("PEANUTS!")

He creates participation through actions, simple though they appear. I see a man who is creating value for others, without costing the Durham Bulls an extra penny--an incredible skill in the 21st century. I see a man who has learned that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary lies not in the tangible things, or the structures, but with people. I see a man whose work is both inspired, and inspiring. And I am reminded once again, that relationships don't occur with organizations; instead relationships--hence, inspiration and value--occur with individuals.

As a teacher, I want to know how to develop the extraordinary in my students, as I strive to do so within myself.  So I ask myself: What are three small tweaks I can make that will improve my value to others? How can I invest in myself to better serve those in my life? How can I ensure I will never fail to try? Something special exists in all of us--how can I bring that out in others? What step can I take today toward my goal of developing the extraordinary?

Readers, what about you? How do you ensure that you provide value to others--without spending a single extra penny? How do you make sure the world is never again the same because you came this way?

And to the man who sells peanuts in an extraordinary way, thanks for the burst of inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. This man is not only attending attention. He's also entertaining and advertising. He's really col man that can hold peoples attention.