From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – This has been a tough week for a whole community with the passing of Carol. I have heard some wonderful stories from dozens of people about her smile, her quirky habits, her volunteer work and her passion for parties.
One story, though, still has me thinking. A person told me that in no time at all after meeting Carol, she could count on being greeted with a big smile and hug. The person recounted, “Even though Carol did not know me that well, she saw me, she accepted me and she made me feel like a valued person.” Maya Angelou is often quoted as saying that all kinds of things will be forgotten, but someone will always remember how you made them feel.
This makes me start to reflect on how often I am rushing and busy and I pass people I know with just a quick wave or smile without slowing my step. How often do I really stop to hear the story or ask how someone is? How often do I take the moment to really wonder how people are while I am quickly asking like an automaton, ‘how are you?’
Am I seeing people? Making people feel valued? These are questions worth asking because story after story has little to do with roles, accomplishments, wealth or achievements, but instead presence, smiles, and ensuring people felt important. This is how Carol navigated her community and left her lasting, widespread legacy.
Slowing down and take the time to truly see someone is challenge in this fast-paced world in which we are so bogged down in roles, responsibilities and busy lists. So, let’s start small – the next person you bump into, try to stop and really see them, really wonder about their life at present, really take a moment to make them feel valued. And of course one more thing ~ if there is music, dance.