A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Proverbs 18:24
We have a new staff member at 217. If you are a regular reader of “Grits” you know a lot about the Taylor tribe. Included in that information is the fact that my wife, Judy, and I have an Airbnb on top of our garage. It is a classy two-bedroom apartment that we rent out as a short-term vacation rental. We have lots of people stay and well, it is quite fun. Our staff is small at 217. There is Judy who manages everything and trust me that is a big job. She also helps with the cleaning when needed. We have a great lady who does the bulk of our cleaning, and she is awesome! She is always willing to go the extra mile and when Judy and I need to be gone she makes sure the water fountains stay running and flowers keep blooming. My job is to serve as the occasional handy man and the guy who mows and trims the grass. It is not the most important job but trust me in grass growing season I am definitely the man.
So that is the staff at 217…or at least it was. About a year ago a new and unexpected member was added to the team. His name is Coach. So, here’s the deal. Last year our neighbors, who are also awesome, decided to get a cat to make sure no unwanted rodents took up residence in their garage. So, they got a cat and named him Coach. Now to be honest I am not a big fan of cats. Most of them are a little bossy and arrogant so at first, I was pretty cool to the idea of a new feline friend. And then it happened.
As it turns out, Coach has more personality than most people I know. He is cool and calm and way friendly. You know how some cats think they own the place? Well, Coach is satisfied with just working the crowd. If Judy and I are out on the patio, he will sway his way over and just make his presence known in a gentle way. It seems he is saying, “Hey, my name is Coach and I just wanted to say hi.” Now really, this cat has it down. You can’t help but like him. Now if I am cool on cats, Judy is cold on cats, but not this one. While she wouldn’t want one of her own, she sure doesn’t mind that he came to the neighborhood.
Now this is the 217 part. When a guest pulls up at 217 and parks, it is not unusual for Coach to come on over and say hi. It almost seems that he is just watching and waiting for them to come. You would think he had peeked at Judy’s reservation book to see when guests were coming. At first, we were a little concerned that the guests might see him as a bother but not to worry. He is a hit almost every time.
Earlier this week, I came home from work and there was our guest bending down to pet Coach. At first, I always explained that he wasn’t our cat but belonged to the neighbors. But now that he is a social rock star, I let that go. I mean if the guests want to think that Mr. Cool belongs to me who am I to correct them? Way to go coach. Way to go.
Do you know what? If I were a cat, I would want to be like Coach. But wait…why can’t I, why can’t we, be like Coach now? Why can’t we make a conscious decision to be kind? Friendly? Loving? Hmmm…the truth is, we can. Every day we bump into people, dozens of them, and have the opportunity to make them feel special. Every day we bump into people and have the opportunity to be a friend, to offer a smile, to make their day a little better. Every day we have the choice. I like that. I want that.
I know that all cats are not like Coach, and I certainly know that not all people are like Coach, but I also know we all can be. Tucked away in the Christian Bible is a book called Proverbs. In that book is this, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” In other words, if we want friends, we need to be one. If we want others to like us…we need to be likable. I saw a quote today that said, “Our vibes draw our tribes.” That is so true. So, let’s take a lesson from Coach and be the kind of person who makes someone’s day. Need a little help? Well, the “Head Coach” is just waiting to lend a hand. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne