Intellectually I have always known that you love those you serve, but it was not until recently that I realized how true that is.
I was thinking about those times when I have connected with the people around me. I asked myself “who do I feel the most camaraderie with? Who are the people I feel like I could call up and just talk to for a while? Who are the people I feel the most love or concern for, outside my family?”
As I started answering those questions I looked for the next logical question, “Why? Why do I feel such a connection to these people? What is it about my experience with them that makes my continue to look at them with those same feelings?” The answer was that I felt that way because I was truly engaged in serving them. It was not just something I was doing. I was not just engaged with the service because it was a task I was assigned and I was performing my duty. It was something I wanted to do.
I had learned to love those people and had connected with them because I was genuinely concerned for their welfare. I wanted the best for them and tried my hardest to make sure they were successful in whatever they were engaged in. I was all in.
What’s interesting is that I can look at specific relationships within the same company and see that while I was engaged with one group, I may not have been engaged with another group to the same level and eventually I left that place because of that lack of engagement.
Which has led to another insight: You cannot be engaged with just one group, but instead you have to engage with everybody with that same intensity, dedication and caring. If there is one thing I have failed to do in my career and in my life as a whole, it is engage with everybody at the same level or intensity.
Yet great people do just that. Not successful people, but great people. Great people engage with people in such a way that they know you care deeply for their personal success. You want the best for them and you have a genuine desire to help them in the best way you can for their best welfare. In one situation that may be giving them the $100 they need. In another case it may be helping them find a way to earn that $100. And in another it may be politely declining. But it is based on their circumstances and in a desire to help them as much as you can with what will best help them.
You are genuinely interested in serving them and do so over an extended period of time. That is true service and it engenders a long-lasting, true, personal connection. A connection which never goes away.
As I reflect back to on the people and situations where I felt most connected, it is that genuine desire to help, uplift and serve that has made the difference. As I consider what life looks like going forward I cannot help but think that I can do just a little better in serving all those around me in the same way I have served specific groups in the past.
My hope in sharing this is that maybe all of us can push a little more toward that same goal.
Photo by Austin Kehmeier on Unsplash.