Are You Staying At The Inn...or The Lodge?
Bob Perks © 2001
I just returned from a wonderful trip to Sun Valley, Idaho. I spoke to one of my favorite groups. The people of AFLAC Insurance were holding a sales conference celebrating their accomplishments from last year and looking forward to the challenges of this year.
I have spoken to about 15 such groups scattered around the U.S. All made possible because I brought my story to them at their national conference.
I kept bragging to everyone back home that I was staying at the Sun Valley Lodge.
Sun Valley is a very popular ski resort that draws people from around the world.
If you are an old movie buff you might have seen "Sun Valley Serenade."
Upon arrival I drove up to the front door of the Lodge and was greeted by a doorman in a long over coat and the appropriate matching hat. He opened my car door and another opened the huge front door to the Lodge.
As usual I was tired and cranky from the trip. The fact that I could barely understand what the desk clerk was saying only added to my frustration.
Suddenly from behind me a well dressed woman approached the desk and demanded attention. She wanted to change her suite to another for reasons even I, an English speaking American couldn't understand. The desk clerk was polite and immediately searched for another room.
I was given my room assignment and I asked the woman who gave it to me,, if I could access my room from this main entrance. She replied, "No. You are not staying in the Lodge, sir. You are in the Inn." "The Inn? I was told that I was staying in the Lodge."
"The Inn is down the road next to the hospital." she continued. I could feel the glare of the well dressed woman next to me. I turned my head toward her and she smugly fluttered her eyes and turning her head, shot her nose into the air. I think she sucked all of the oxygen out of the lobby for I suddenly felt small and insignificant.
I rushed out the door and headed to the "lesser place" with no doorman and entered the hotel. I found a young girl who guided me to the main lobby. I approached the desk clerk there and asked where my room was located. "Up those stairs." "Is there an elevator?" "Not in the Inn!" "Is there a restaurant here?" "Not in the Inn! Just a cafeteria." she said.
A Cafeteria. The Inn was NOT the Lodge. I dragged my three bags up the two flights of stairs and headed down this very long hallway. Of course my room had to be the very last one.
The Inn is actually quite nice. You would like it. It is just not the Lodge.
As soon as I got in I called my wife to share this story with her. She could sense my disappointment and frustration. After I settled in, I sat quietly for a few moments and thought about what had happened.
These feelings I had, were they real or imagined? Did the well dressed lady smugly write me off as one of the poor souls who couldn't afford a suite.
Were the words "Not in the Inn!" said to put me in my place and remind me that I wasn't significant enough?
No. Everyone had been nice. I created those images in my mind and looked for words and actions of others to confirm those feelings. I was in an environment I felt undeserving of and tried desperately to allow others to put me in my place. I gave them permission to put me down.
Have you ever been in a situation that for whatever unfounded reasons, you felt smaller than or less important than the others around you? Have you ever had a conversation with someone and felt inferior to them?
I have always prided myself in being able to speak with anyone. Yet there are times when my self image is tarnished and I lower myself to a level unworthy of any human being.
But I choose to do this to myself. I give permission to someone whom I think is more important than I am, to look down at me.
But my friend, there is no one more important than you. Oh, there are people who hold important positions in life. But person to person we are all on the same level. Incomes vary, possessions contrast each other, and maybe you don't have a room in the Lodge either.
But you are as important as that well dressed lady and we all stand together next to the desk clerk and doorman in God's eyes.
"Self Worth can only be determined by the value we choose to insert; the future of those we cherish will be the reflection of what we model today."
Have a great day!