I know what you’re thinking — “Dirty Harry” no doubt!!! Harry Callahan, the fictional City of San Francisco Homicide Division Inspector made famous by legendary actor Clint Eastwood. It was actually during the 4th film in the series, “Sudden Impact” (1983). It all started when innocently enough when Callahan goes into a diner to get a cup of coffee. While inside, the diner is robbed. Callahan runs outside after the robbers and kills two of them in a shoot out. The third robber grabs a fleeing waitress and holds a gun to her head threatening to shoot her. Instead of backing off, Callahan points his .44 Magnum revolver at the robbers head, clenches his teeth and in a Clint Eastwood tough-guy low voice blurts out, “Go ahead – make my day”. But it didn’t stop there, two years later, when speaking out against taxes at the 1985 American Business Conference, President Ronald Reagan stated “I have my veto pen drawn and ready for any tax increase that Congress might even think of sending up. And I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers. Go ahead—make my day.” Although Clint Eastwood and President Reagan brought notoriety to the phrase “go ahead, make my day” it was actually written by Charles B. Pierce, an independent filmmaker who is credited with “story by” in the film “Sudden Impact”. He gives credit of the actual origins of the phrase to his father Mack, who used to tell him as a child, “Just let me come home one more day, without you mowing that lawn, son just go ahead…..make my day”. So clearly, anyway you look at it, “Go ahead – make my day” was used as a threat, but does it have to be? Keeping that in mind, let me share with you a true story which just happened to me.
We had just finished up the September 15 tax filing deadline for partnerships and corporations. The previous three weeks were physically and mentally exhausting. It’s times like these that you must summon strength from within, that you practice walking by faith, and not by sight. Still, when our minds are tired it’s easy to get down (yes it happens to the best of us) and lose that spring in your step, sparkle in your eyes and passion within your heart. And so as I entered the office on this morning and came through our reception area I was quite frankly whipped, and consequently, not my best self. As I do all mornings when I come in, I make my traditional turn to my right and say “Good Morning” to my son Joe. It’s always great to see him. I never in a million years thought we would be working together. But on this morning, Joe was helping a rather tall, distinguished-looking gentleman with his iPad set-up. Much to my surprise, it was my mentor and Business Coach, Bill Berndt (See Blog – THE BUSINESS COACH – Volume 1, Number 13, December 29, 2011) who I had not seen in a while. I had been meaning to call Bill, but the hectic pace of meeting the September 15 deadline had left very little extra time. Still, seeing Bill and Joe together on this particular morning had an impact on me, a profound impact. You see, on this morning, without any notice or fanfare, they had no idea they had “made my day” but they did. Their enthusiasm, smiles and genuine happiness to see me put the wind back in my sails. Afterwards, Bill came down to my office and we had a chance to talk for a few minutes. He had been in my shoes before; he understood the pressures, the challenges and the responsibly of running a CPA Firm. As we went to say good-bye, I told him how much it meant to see him. He seemed genuinely touched, and thanked me. His unplanned visit on a morning when I was down, gave me new meaning to “make my day”. And so, as I do when passing moments in time make a distinct impression, I jotted down my thoughts and planted the seed – a new blog had been born. The time had come to give new meaning the phrase made famous by Dirty Harry – “Go ahead – make my day” would never be the same to me again.
Mother Theresa is quoted as saying “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” The same can be said of unplanned visits or calls to friends, as well as other random acts of kindness; today, cherish your friendships and “Make Someone’s Day”. Don’t be afraid to call a friend or family member and let them know how much you appreciate them. Go ahead and take time from your busy day at work to call your spouse or significant other and “Make Their Day”. Tell the special people in your life why you think they are special. Listen attentively to what they have to say without interruption. When was the last time you sent a handwritten note or card to someone? Go ahead and just take the time to be happy and helpful. Visit others on a surprise basis just to say “Hi”; Much like Bill and Joe, your presence will leave footprints on their day while touching their hearts. Best of all, without even realizing it, your heart will be warmed in quite an unexpected way. Now go ahead Callahan…you would never back off so “Go ahead – Make my day” and enjoy every minute of it. Go ahead and make a difference in the world and in the lives of others. Go ahead and be the best you can be. Go ahead and put a smile on someone else’s face but in doing so don’t be surprised when it wears off on you. A little bit of kindness goes a long way. Just like “The Universal Law” states, “Whatever you cast off in life, comes back in return”. In closing I wish you the best and while you’re at it…Have a great day!! May God Bless You!!
Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)
PS. Shortly after writing this blog, Sue and I received the following email from our daughter Jessica. Needless to say she “made our day” and brought tears to our eyes by touching our hearts:
Dad & Miss Sue,
Before the day gets too crazy I have been thinking about something lately I have wanted to say. Thank you guys! Watching the Orioles this season has been such a joy, and I know my love for the O’s stems from all the games you used to take us to and all those summers days we used to watch and listen to the games together. Tromley’s miniature golf course! One of my all-time favorite radio memories (1). Watching the O’s now reminds me of the good times we had and our shared love of a great game, team and baseball city. Here’s to hoping we win tomorrow and get to host the Yankee’s in Baltimore. What a playoff series that would be. This kid’s heart would be over the moon.
(1) Mike Tromley, a former Oriole’s pitcher from 2000-2001 gave up 3 consecutive home runs in one inning while we listened to the game in our car in route to one of our many miniature golf outings. Consequently, we renamed the course “Tromley’s”. It was unbelievable memory we all never forgot.