What's the Peoplecheck?

I once met a very talented chef with a healthy paycheck who was offered a tough job at a miserly salary--organizing a culinary arts training program for an underserved Appalachian school system. She took the job, despite a huge cut in income and prestige. Her explanation? "It's not the paycheck, it's the peoplecheck." She weighed a nice salary against the chance to create transformational opportunities for 120 kids each year--and the people won out.

We're all familiar with the scenario of the highly-skilled professional with a big income--who forgets or neglects family and friends. The "paycheck" is healthy, but the "peoplecheck" is terrible.

We're equally aware of people who live their lives in service to others--homemakers, caregivers, community volunteers--who have a great peoplecheck, but a small or nonexistent paycheck.

We all need to eat and pay our bills, and it's nice to afford the amenities and luxuries if we wish. But at the end of each day, what will make us smile, is whether our "peoplecheck" was in the plus.

Perhaps you added a smile to someone's day. Maybe you responded graciously in a moment of tension. Or maybe you encouraged someone who was in doubt. Or challenged someone who was getting complacent. Or took a moment to share a personal thanks to someone who always does a great job, yet is taken for granted.

No matter what the dollar sign says, the lasting profit you create is in the people you encounter. Look for the "Peoplecheck."

(You may gain inspiration from our film, Dancing Joy, an example of cinema for humanity. www.dancingjoymovie.com)


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