Yesterday, I took my eighteen year old stepson shopping for a used car. He had saved his money and done his homework to find the style of car he liked and a price within his budget.
After we drove the car at the dealer’s, the time came for negotiations with the salesperson. It’s one of the things I’ve learned how to do over the years, but not something I particularly enjoy. But, there are some things that are necessary in our life and we do them, and hopefully well.
I told the salesman upfront that my son was buying his first car with his own money, but I wanted to teach him how to buy a car, so I would do the talking. You know how these conversations go. We went through the process, which wasn’t as painful as some I’ve been through. When we didn’t get the price that we thought was fair for the buyer and seller, we stood up, shook his hand, thanked him, and walked out.
As we got into my car in the parking lot, the salesman came out with a new offer close enough to our price. Long story short, my son has a new (used) car. He is a happy camper.
Afterwards, we talked together about the car buying process over a celebratory dinner before we went home. “What did you learn?” I asked him. “What surprised you?” “What would you do the same? Or different? It was a special time, a memorable life experience.
But it got me to thinking.
What do we teach others with the way we live?
What is your lesson plan for today? A new skill, a new way of being?
What are you teaching to your family or loved ones, but also to people with whom you work, or persons in restaurants or other places of transactions, or people in your place of worship?
Our actions are more effective teachers than our words.
Someone is watching you. What are you going to teach him or her today?
I hope it will be something that is worthwhile, and something that lasts long after you and I are gone.