The book Passionate People (by Keith Miller and Bruce Larson), describes two kinds of people — “basement people” and “balcony people.” Which one are you?
“Basement people” are defined as “discouragers”. No matter what is happening, they always have a negative comment ready. They love to point out your flaws. They refuse to see beyond your shortcomings. They focus on the walls of impossibility around them rather rather than seeing possibilities on the other side.
Basement people drag us down to their level.
In contrast to basement people stand “Balcony People.” These are those folks in life who cheer us on no matter what. “You can do it! “I believe it you!” “Don’t give up” When we get tired, they lend us strength. When we fall down, they pick us up.
Balcony people lift us up to their level.
The best thing about the difference between the basement and the balcony is that we can choose where to stand. You and I have a choice – we can be people who drag others down, or people who lift others up.
As you ponder where you have been standing, here is a picture of a “balcony person” in action. This video was taken before a 2003 NBA Playoff game between Portland and Dallas. The girl in the video, an 8th grader named Natalie Gilbert, was chosen to sing the National Anthem . . . but to her horror, as she sang, she forgot the words to the song. It seemed like a moment of failure that would stick with her forever . . . until Maurice Cheeks, the head coach of the Trail Blazers, walked over, put his arm around her and helped her with the words. They started singing together, and soon the entire crowd was singing along.
What a beautiful act of encouragement from someone who stands on life’s balcony, lifting people upwards.
Lord, help me to be a balcony person for someone in my life today!
P.S. Here is an ABC News interview with Natalie: