When Kansas City, MO Police Officer Todd Templeton’s cruiser arrived on the scene where three kids were playing basketball in a local neighborhood, he had no idea that Samuel Lockridge would capture what happened with a cell phone camera.
But he did. And it’s a good thing, too. Because there’s no denying the video evidence. Templeton and the other two officers were caught red-handed!
“It was very special. That’s why I felt like it was important and I felt obligated to record it,” Lockridge told KMBC-TV. “Ain’t seen too many police officers do this.”
Templeton said he wanted to introduce local kids to good interactions with police instead of bad ones. “We’re doing it for the kids. We love the kids out here. We try to do our best interacting with the kids,” Templeton told the station. “They see enough of the bad stuff that goes in the neighborhoods just like we do, and we need to get their mind off of that.”
Too often video cameras catch law enforcement officers engaging in questionable or abusive actions and the video goes viral for all the wrong reasons. How refreshing that Lockridge caught the cops doing something right!
In fact, I don’t think this is an anomaly. Or an isolated incident. If the truth was known we would more often catch our law enforcement officers doing something good than not!
This incident reminds me of a motto used in The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson: “Help People Reach their Full Potential–Catch Them Doing Something Right.”
The point of the motto is this. In too many organizations, the manager walks around looking for things people are doing wrong. So, he is constantly correcting, criticizing and even chastening his people. This often results in low morale and a lack of productivity.
To improve efficiency and help people reach their goals Blanchard-Johnson says “catch them doing something right.” In other words, praise instead of criticize. Encourage instead of condemn. Build up instead of tear down.
Isn’t this the essence of the Bible exhortation, “Encourage one another and build each other up” ? (1 Thess. 5:11)
What if we applied that idea in all our relationships?
What if husbands and wives purposely looked for things that were right in their relationship, instead of things that were wrong?
What is parents looked for and praised good behavior instead of only looking for and pointing out bad behavior?
What if church leaders commended people more for their spiritual progress, rather than condemn them for their failures?
What if we all complimented the good in our friends instead of criticizing them for their faults?
What if we all adopted the motto, “catch someone doing something right” in all our relationships? In our communities? In our Service clubs? In our business dealings? In our churches?
This also sounds like a good application of the “golden rule”–“Treat other people the way you want to be treated” (Matt. 7:12).
If we all worked to catch others doing something right, the world would be a better place. We would be happier! And so would the person we “caught”!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman