Most of you know that I am a big Chick-fil-A fan. I usually eat at one of the local Chick-fil-A restaurants at least three or four times each week. The food is delicious, and the service is fast and courteous. It seems to me that Chick-fil-A has raised the bar for all fast-food restaurants to do a better job and to have a better product.
One day, when I was having lunch at Chick-fil-A, I asked the owner-operator, Chris Darley, how he was doing. He answered, “I am green!” Well, that caught me a little off-guard. I did not know if he meant he was feeling sick or that he was green because he did not know what he was doing at work. I looked at him and asked, “You are green?” “Yes!” he said. “If you are green, you are growing, but if you are ripe, you are rotting!” Then, it all made sense. He meant he was green because he was in the process of learning, growing, developing, and becoming all that he could be in his job and personal life. He went on to explain, however, that if a person gets to the place of feeling as though they have “arrived” and they do not need to learn anything else, then they are fully mature or ripe. At that point, they begin to rot. Chris and I had a good laugh, and I thanked him for his great insight. I also asked for his permission to share it with you in a Tip of the Week.
It really is true that all of us are on a journey. None of us knows everything. The wisest physician, dentist, school teacher, or business person will tell you that he or she is still learning. I am so grateful that I have had mentors in my life who taught me the value of being “hungry” to continue to grow in every area of my life.
I think it is important that we all mature to the place where we are proficient in our own particular areas of expertise. I believe that maturity and wisdom come with age, hard work, and learning the lessons life is trying to teach us. So, I am not suggesting that we stay immature our whole life, but I am suggesting that we maintain an attitude of “greenness” that will posture us to desire continued growth. It is very important that we stay in the ongoing ripening process. As I said before, it is when we think we have come to the end of that journey that we begin to rot.
I realize that we could push this analogy too far, so I just want to summarize it with three thoughts: First, it is good to have an attitude that you are green and still learning because that will cause you to grow; second, it is important to ripen and develop some maturity while maintaining a desire to learn, grow and become better at whatever you endeavor to do; and third, be careful not to have a “know-it-all” attitude and a feeling of having arrived at your destination. That is when you will begin to rot and get yourself and others into trouble.
I hope this week you will have a whole new appreciation for the process that good fruit and good people (and yes, the owner-operator of a Chick-fil-A) go through each day!
Tip: If you are green, you are growing, but if you are ripe, you are rotting!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm