Dolly Parton Poured me a Cup of Coffee

Over my career I have had the opportunity to consult with all sorts of businesses. Everything from chicken farms to corporate clients. One of my favorites was a large city coliseum where very famous celebrities performed. It was fascinating to hear their stories about the different famous people and how they behaved. I asked the group who was their favorite person who performed at the site. Without any hesitation they all said Dolly Parton. They all agreed she was the most genuine.

They told me the story about a meeting they had with her and her team to prepare for the concert. She got up and poured herself a cup of coffee, then walked around the room asking who else wanted a refresh. Everyone on the site side was stunned. Most celebrities expect to be served, she was the only one they had ever seen serve someone else and think nothing of it. Her kindness stuck with them for decades.

I was reminded of this story as I coached an executive who was a really nice guy. He struggled because he thought he needed to be more of something else and less nice. He felt that he was being perceived as weak or wimpy because he was so nice. I told him the Dolly Parton story. I reminded him that kindness is not weakness and that being your genuine self is a choice and one he can live with no matter the circumstances. I encouraged him not to let the perception of others get in his head and make him feel less than.

We live in a world that needs more kindness, more genuine people who do what they know is right no matter what anyone else thinks. We need people who are willing to be kind to everyone no matter their position or role. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and that begins with each one of us. Kindness is not weakness it is the ability to see the value in people no matter their circumstances or station. Kindness is being who you are in all situations an respecting yourself and others.

Your challenge for today is to perform one act of kindness whether anyone else sees it or not. Do it because it is the right thing to do for yourself and for the people in your world, and because it will leave an indelible mark on your world that will not soon be forgotten.


  1. Nice story. Maybe some day you will have the chance to pour Dolly a cup and tell her yourself.

    People may not remember what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

    Liked by 1 person

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