All too often we do things, without thinking, that while seemingly second nature or insignificant to us, have a massive impact on those around us, for good or for bad. I was reminded of that numerous times this week, in one fashion or another. Consider daily routines for a moment. When you are nice to the waitstaff and tip well, it means the world to them, but may be insignificant to you. Saying “please” and “thank you” are second nature, but the bank teller taking care of you may have just had the MOST difficult client. Listening to someone tell the same anecdote for the umpteenth time is just being polite, but it makes the teller feel valued and important. Holding the door open for the mom struggling with the stroller and the toddler is a matter of course, but she really appreciates that 3rd hand.
I have volunteered for our local Feeding America Food Bank, Three Square, for nearly 6 years. Although it is second nature for me to give back to the community I live in, I seldom think about the true impact that my actions have, or the way people view my charity work. For the past year I have acted as the chairperson on a committee to host DISH Las Vegas – the largest fundraiser for Three Square. My actions were called to the forefront before, during and after this event. Let me make it clear that I don’t volunteer to receive accolades or recognition. I volunteer to feel good about myself and to participate as part of the solution to a problem in the city in which I live.
So here is what I learned (or was reminded of) thru this experience:
If I am passionate about a project, people will want to work on it with me
I should trust my instincts more
Mother Nature doesn’t take requests
I can appear calm, even when I am a nervous wreck
I can’t please everyone all the time
Being nice costs me nothing (most times) and pays unforeseen dividends
Some people work their own agendas under the guise of charity
Surprising people by going the extra mile is fun!
Don’t feed the trolls
Don’t poke the bears
I cry more easily when people say nice things about me than when they say mean things
A pat on the back is just a few vertebrae away from a kick in the pants, but is miles apart in results – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Food brings people together
Cash is King – put your money where your mouth is
Some people will complain no matter what happens to/for them
I don’t like to be hugged by some people, but I do hug most people (yes, I am a hugger)
I can’t control everything
My friends are amazing people and I am lucky to have them
And lastly this from Christopher Robin:
The event was enjoyed by nearly 1000 people. I don’t remember most of it because it all happened so fast! All of the pics below were taken by Hubby John, or friends. I never touched a camera all night! If you want to see pics of the food, please go here to my friend Al Mancini’s blog. He and his fabulous wife Sue worked on the committee with me, and I am grateful for their help and dedication. Overall it was a success.
Thank you to all of you who showed up, participated, organized or otherwise helped to make this year’s DISH Las Vegas a wonderful event. There is still work to do to solve the hunger problem, but I am up to the challenge. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…