When Judy’s first client, Maggie, didn’t show up for her Saturday, 9am hair appointment, Judy called Emergency 911.
This is not the typical approach you would expect from a hair stylist, but Judy felt what she did was right.
For twenty years Maggie has been Judy’s Saturday 9am appointment once a month. She had never been late, and never missed an appointment. Maggie was a woman who always showed up on time, every time.
So when Maggie missed her Saturday appointment, and hours went by and her calls went to voicemail, Judy knew immediately that something must be wrong.
“I know this sounds crazy, but my client never showed up, and I’m worried about her. I have her address and I think you should go over there right now and check on her. She’s in her late 80′s and she may need help.”
The police listened, and did exactly that. They went to Maggie’s house and found her car parked in the driveway. An inquisitive neighbor said she hadn’t seen Maggie in a couple days.
The police broke the lock on Maggie’s front door, and entered her home.
They found her in the bathtub, trapped. She was alive, breathing, barely conscious. She had fallen in the tub and was unable to get out. She was cold, but fortunately hypothermia had not set in.
Judy arrived on the scene a few hours later and asked the cops about Maggie. “Are you the lady who called us?” They said. “You saved her life.”
Maggie went on to recover and move in to an assisted living home. She was extremely grateful to Judy for making that call, because by the time the police arrived, she’d been trapped in the bathtub for 2 days. One more day, and she would probably not have survived.
When Judy told me this story as I was sitting in her stylist chair, right where Maggie had sat, I reflected on my own inconsistencies. If I flaked on someone, would they know my character was so sound that something had to be wrong and do as Judy had done and reach out for help?
Maybe, I thought. Integrity is a spectrum that way. We all fall on it somewhere, like the colors in the prism lens. While I felt I stood nearer to Maggie’s hue, I vowed to do better. To be the reliable woman of integrity that would make my son, and my family, proud. To not let myself make any excuses.
Your word is powerful. Keeping it, showing up, not flaking… you never know, it might just save your life one day.
P.S. Self-reflection and honesty: In what areas could you do better at keeping your word?