From Frank ... | Apr 2
What does it mean to "to serve with kindness"?
One of our Village’s core values is “serve with kindness” which really touches me deeply. To me, it’s an important principle that guides our actions. For example, when a member needs a ride to a medical appointment, our volunteers provide more than what a taxi or Uber service might provide. The member and volunteer engage with one another, have friendly conversation, and in many cases, it’s a social visit as well as a ride somewhere. It’s perhaps that extra something that sets us apart. It’s also not just one-way. That is, the volunteers too get a lot out of the experience.
For Members Plus (those that receive services) reluctant to ask for a helping hand, I stress that they are also helping the volunteer, who wants to be doing something useful, such as helping a neighbor. The kindness is both shared and powerful.
Lest you think I’ve always been a kindhearted, I’ll tell you of another experience growing up that since has made me appreciate still being alive to tell the story. On the eve of April Fools in 1974, I had the foresight to turn off the hot water heater. In the morning, four of my sisters (the two oldest, Susan and Patti, were already out of the house) and my mother all took cold showers thinking that the hot water tank was broken. What was particularly hard to watch was my mother's panic (being a single mom) thinking about having to buy a new hot water heater, but somehow I persisted with my devious plan. When they were done with their cold showers, I turned the dial on the water heater back on, waited the requisite amount of time for the water to heat up, and then enjoyed a hot shower. All I can say is that it’s a good thing that I could run fast and that at least some of them had a sense of humor.
I’m off all of next week, enjoying a bit of time away at the beach with my partner and dogs, one of whom (Lucy) is recovering from knee surgery. My oldest sister will be here with my mom, (in case you were wondering!). I hope to read lots of books and no emails! Rest assured that Claire will be available to assist you and you’ll get to hear her thoughts in this space next week too. For those that celebrate Easter, may you have a very Happy Easter and I’ll look forward to seeing everyone when I return!