Guest Column: Caring

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead

I was able to attend a celebration of Life for a great man that made an incredible impact on those around him. So much so, that the cross-country team was competing at State with socks decorated with pancake motif. This was a team that he had coached years before. It occurred to me as I was getting to know what impression he made on others that many of us underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear or the power of a touch. You see this coach and his family brought the athletes together with pancake breakfasts and cross country runs. One by one, they spoke about what this coach did to help them, even when they wanted to give up, he would encourage them to endure and keep with the team. The power of a phone call, text, email or stopping by to say hello. That is what we call servant leadership. It is the dash in someone’s life that makes the difference not when someone is born or eventually dies, it is the dash in-between.

With even the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. It truly does not take much to make a huge impact on another’s life. Taking the time to visit the elderly and those that are disabled, may appreciate someone taking the time to rake up leaves, shovel snow or even giving a card or note to someone that may be having a rough time. Most of the moments of impact are the ones we have given the gift of time. So flash a smile, hold open the door and help a person, in the end you will feel this amazing thing called compassion when another needs it.

Within our family owned business, connecting with our employees and our customers has kept us strong since 1953. The craftsmen are highly skilled through months and years of training. Hearing the praise of our customers encourages our employees to do their best. Both our customers and employees have become our family. It is caring about the job we do for each of our customers that gives us the satisfaction of knowing… ”A job done well, is a job well done.”

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
C.S. Lewis

It is in the small things that make a huge impact, such as Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. Inspired by his early success of his dime store and driven to bring even greater opportunity and value to his customers. He wanted to lower the cost of living for everyone. For a period, he was the richest man in America. Not only did he build his empire on keeping his customers happy, he also took the time to stop in and greet store employees with handwritten cards of encouragement. Actions speak volumes!

It is the time we spend within our communities to make a difference in those around us. Each moment we put ourselves aside and think of others, the large community we live in becomes much smaller place and gives us a sense of community!

Wendy Van Orman is a PACE Board Member, CFO of Quality Hardwood Floors of Spokane, former Mayor of Liberty Lake, Married for 37 years with three children and 7 grandchildren.