Deborah Egerton answers the question:
What is the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for you?
Well, when I think about it, I've been very blessed with having many non-family members do kind things for me. But what comes to mind is a story that has to do with a homeless man that I met on the street one day. As the cars were all passing by, he came up to my window and I reached into my purse to give him something. That's not always been my practice. Usually I like to take people and give them something to eat or what have you. But there was something on that day that touched my heart and said, "Go ahead and give him some money." I pulled over to the side out of the traffic, and I went into my purse, and I handed him a $20 bill.
He started to give me the perfunctory, "God bless you ma'am. Thank you ma'am." But in that moment he actually stopped, and he looked at me, and he touched my hand, and he said, "No. God bless you, ma'am, and I really mean this. I've only had two of these — and this is the second one in my hand — in my entire life. And when I tell you, 'God bless you, and I'm going to pray for you,' I really mean it. I mean it because nobody ever does this." I would say that it's one of the kindest things that anyone has ever done for me, because it helped me to put something into perspective about what we take for granted.
When we go into our purses sometimes, if we're going to give somebody something, we look for the lowest denomination that we can find. You know, it's the change, or a dollar bill, and we always think, "Well, they're just going to use it on drugs or what have you." But in that moment, on that day, when that man looked at me and I looked back at him, our souls connected in a very different way. It allowed me to realize that in whatever I do, whatever act of kindness that I choose to engage in with someone, that I want it to always be as authentic and as genuine as his thank you was on that day. It was just something I'll remember the rest of my life.
Dr. Deborah Threadgill Egerton, founder and president of Trinity Transition Consultants, is an internationally respected psychotherapist and executive coach who is often described as an unforgettable career thought-leader, a diversity-and-inclusion practitioner, and an authentic and inspirational Enneagram teacher. She facilitates career growth and personal development with individuals and organizations by focusing her efforts on respecting the uniqueness of every individual and honoring the humanity in us all.
Deborah recognizes that the Enneagram is the blueprint needed for the unification of all people to understand we are already connected as one. Her work with the Enneagram has allowed people to see the world through different eyes and has enabled individuals to see how our similarities connect us more than our differences divide us.
She holds a BA in Mass Communications from the University of Texas El Paso, an MA in Counseling Psychology from Webster University, and a PhD from Health Sciences Saba University, Netherlands Antilles.
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This article appears in: 2019 Catalyst, Issue 12: The Enneagram Global Summit