Beliefnet
Because This Is Your Life

Two men.

One unique moment in time.

A can of Coca Cola.

…and a life lesson for the ages.

But first…

Let me tell you about one of these men…Frank Maguire.

Frank is the founding member and former VP of FedEx…former head of programming for ABC Radio Networks…communications consultant to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson… and right hand man to KFC founder and pop-culture icon Colonel Harlan Sanders.

He passed away in 2010.

Back in 2008 I had the opportunity to speak with Frank on the phone.

And it was during this conversation when he told me a story that took place between he and the second man I made mention of…President John F. Kennedy.

This happened back in late 1961…early 1962.

At the time he was a young consultant to President Kennedy.

And on this one late rainy Friday afternoon he was asked to run an errand to the White House.

He had a limo driver take him to the White House.

When he got to the White House he went in the front gate (they knew him there)…

Walks in to the East Wing.

He began to whistle…while saying, “hello, is anybody home?”

No answer.

He walks through the East Wing…then past the Oval Office.

After coming to the end of the hallway he strolls up the circular stairs.

At the top of the stairs he looked down the hallway and saw a foot sticking out around the corner. The person was wearing khaki pants.

He walked down the hallway.

And as he turned the corner there sat John F. Kennedy…sitting in Abraham Lincoln’s chair…under a plaque that said, “do not sit.”

Kennedy was sitting there with his yellow pad…a pen…and a can of Coca Cola.

Looking stunned Frank said, “excuse me Mr. President.”

Kennedy replied, “no no, what can I do for you?”

Frank said, “well sir I have this report from the commerce department that somebody wanted me to bring over to you.”

Kennedy said, “thank you so much…what’s your name?”

“I’m Frank Maguire”

“Frank can I get you a coke?”

“That’s ok Mr. President I have to get back.”

“Come on let me get you a coke. Are you sure you don’t want one?”

“Yes Mr. President I need to get back and I know you’re busy.”

“Ok if that’s the way you want it. Thanks for bringing this over.”

“You’re welcome Mr. President.”

Frank then walked down the hall…to the circular staircase.

Before going down he turned around and looked…and there was Kennedy’s foot again sticking out around the corner.

Then he left.

While on the phone that day Frank told me…

“To this very day I’ll never ever EVER forget that moment…and I only wish I had taken that moment and had a Coca Cola with JFK.”

He went on to say…

“If I had a trillion dollars right now in my pocket I could not buy that moment back.”

And he finished off this part of the conversation we had by saying….

“Here was a rainy Friday and nobody in the world around…and the President of the United States asked me to have a coke with him and I said no.”

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So how does this affect your life?
Why is this a lesson for the ages?
———————————————————

To start…

Because it’s important for you to be grateful for the opportunities that come your way.

And…

You need to take advantage of them.because you never know if they’ll come your way again.

Here’s something else that’s interesting and ties right in with Frank’s story…

When asked if they regret doing something or not doing something, the overwhelming majority of people say they regret NOT doing it….NOT taking advantage of the opportunities that came their way.

And it’s this price of regret that haunts people while laying on their death bed.

Think about the situations you’ve come across in your life.

Was it a person you wanted to be in a relationship with…but were too afraid to ask them out on a date?

Was it a career you wanted to pursue but for some reason felt others would laugh at you?

Was it coming across a well known person—a celebrity, someone in your community, the owner of the company you work for—in a place where there was no one else around and you “froze up” on the spot?

Did you say “yes” to these types of situations…

Or did you say “no” and just went on your merry way?

And if you did go on your merry way, did you think about it a few hours, days, months, and possibly even years later…about what would have happened “if” you had said “yes” to that situation…

If you had spoken up…

If you let this other person know who you are…

If you had shared in what way you could help them that they themselves may not have even been aware of.

What are you regretting as a result of saying “no” to something…a situation…a unique moment in time? What opportunities have you missed out on because of this…only to regret them later on.

And most importantly…

What can you do to recognize these moments as they happen…and seize the opportunity to make the most of them?

Remember…

There’s two sides to every situation…the positives and negatives…and they occur equally.

The only way someone can “miss out” and feel regret over something they did or didn’t do at the moment it occurred is if they saw more negatives in some way than positives.

In some way this is what happened with Frank that day as he was all alone…face to face… with President Kennedy.

I can’t say for sure if Frank was afraid.

Yet…

Based on his own statement that he was “stunned” to see President Kennedy sitting there…I would say he did have some fear over the situation…to the point that he refused to have a can of Coca Cola courtesy of the President of the United States.

Had Frank been aware at the time that President Kennedy—like every other human being has two sides—and that every situation also has both sides equally occurring he would have had that can of Coke with the President.

In your life..

You most likely won’t be coming across the President of the United States in the White House.

However…

You will come across these types of situations in other ways that are of equal importance to you.

And when you see both sides to the person…and the situation equally…you’ll say “yes” to that moment.

Along with this…

You’ll also say “yes” to the magnificence of who you are.

You’ll say “yes” to the tremendous amount of value you contribute to others and the world.

And in return…

Others will acknowledge and say “yes” to how special of a person you are and all that you do.

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