It is amazing the perspective a funeral can give you. People gather. You see lots of faces and personalities you haven’t thought about or visited within years. Old friends, new friends, strangers that have the potential of becoming friends… all gathered to celebrate and/or mourn a life. You see, Two of the last three funerals I have attended have been for older family friends- people who were the age of my parents, and I have left each memorial with a sense of how, in small ways, their lives impacted others.
The first of the funerals (over a year ago) that I attended was for Mr. R. He was a large statuesque man. If he so desired, he could scare you with his mere strength and girth. Yet, he was a big ol’ teddy bear who loved on others unconditionally and gave quietly to those in need. Most of his acts of love and grace were done “in secret,” and those acts made a significant impact on many many lives.
Mrs. G’s was the most recent funeral. This weekend I went to this funeral for our family friend. She was 76 and by all counts a fairly quiet servant. Not someone in front of the crowd or tooting her own horn. She was a person who in small ways helped shaped others. The crowded room was a testament to this. She was a woman who would do the “little things” that might go unnoticed unless you thought about it. She’d organize, she’d help, she’d do the “dirty” work. Seemingly unnoticed work, but those little actions were impactful. It all makes me pause and reflect on kindness and life. It affirmed my belief that sometimes it is in the little acts of kindness and faithfulness that lives are changed. I think about the quote.
“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.”
-Barbara de Angelis
And the quote
“Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humor, work in businesses at all times.” -John Gerzema
Kindness and giving of yourself to others always translates. Always works. And is still rewarding. I think all too often we get caught up in the “what do I have to do to be successful” instead of asking ourselves, “How can I serve others?” In a world where so many are focused inwardly and living their life with a sense of entitlement, small acts of kindness speak volumes. I fully believe that it is better to give than receive. Try it today, in life, in work and in general. I think you’ll find yourself a better, happier person.
Yes, this is a life lesson, but it is also a business lesson. If you provide intrinsic, authenticity and merely give your customers your best they’ll be pleased. So you may now ask… How can your business do this? Well, the answer to that question is different for every company. For some businesses, it is providing the services that the customer cannot provide for themselves or lending expertise in a field that the customer has no idea about. For others, it is merely being a consistent and helping hand to their needs both personally and professionally.
As a business owner, I want to be transparent, a good steward, and always kind. I know these thoughts challenge me. Hopefully, they challenge you as well.
Action: Do one thing that is out of kindness or service today.
Final Thought: What little things can you do to help others?
Tags: business, Design, marketing, services, value