“Don’t You Be Half-Steppin’ Now!”

After breakfast Fran and I often take a few minutes to talk about people we know and love – people who have made a difference in our lives. Yesterday we remembered Nate. He would have smiled at this little insight. Nate was always smiling. We were sorry to learn that Nate died after a long and courageous fight with cancer.

Nate was a veteran of the US Air Force and served a full career as a Flight Mechanic Supervisor with a major airline. Many of his former associates attended his funeral to pay tribute to this quiet little man who served so well. At the conclusion of the service they all stood at attention and give Nate his final salute. It was a very touching moment.

Fran and I had the privilege of knowing Nate for many years. We belonged to the same Church Congregation. Nate and I served in the Men’s Group together. He sang in the choir. He painted and fixed things in our Church. Most importantly, Nate was always there. He counseled. He encouraged. He served. Nate was always cheerful, but usually quiet. He was one of those rare people who did not speak often, but when he did speak he offered something of profound value.

I once spent a whole day painting our church basement with Nate. Wow – could that man work! At one point I guess I was doing a lot more talking than I was painting. Nate, with a twinkle in his eye said, “Don’t You Be Half-Steppin’ Now!” I looked puzzled as he continued with a smile, “You know you can’t talk that paint onto the wall. You’ve got to paint it on. If you keep Half-Steppin’ we’ll never get the job done. So let’s pick up the cadence to a Full-Step!” And then he chuckled and went back to work.

He certainly motivated me to pick up the cadence. But, as I continued to work, a lot more quietly I may add, the phrase Half-Steppin’ kept repeating in my head. I have never forgotten it. In his quiet and gentle way Nate expressed, in a simple phrase, a philosophy of life. Half-Steppin’ does not serve us well. If we are always Half-Steppin’ we may never get the job done.

What Nate shared with me that day has an application to your life and your Watkins career as well. So, let’s pick up the cadence and move out confidently and boldly in full measured steps. Let’s get the job done! Let’s make a difference in the world!

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