The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

The little things are what matters.

On November 20th, 2017, posted in: Just Because, Uncategorized by

visitors at beachSelfishness is a horrible character trait.  It’s one we perfect in our teen years, and sadly it hangs around to some degree throughout our adult life.  The seriously selfish usually serve to destroy marriages, relationships, and the workplace culture when allowed to go unchecked.  Add selfishness to being stubborn and you have the formula for disaster.  Give a little for the good of all that you meet.  It will make the world a better place. 

I regularly talk with my elder sister.  It’s not a big deal to me, but it is important to her.  She’s always very gracious and considerate of my time, and it concerns her that she might take up too much of my busy schedule.  Then she proceeds to tell me a story, followed by another one, and another one.  I think it’s cute more than anything.  Each story is prefaced with “I don’t want to take up much of your time.”  It ends up being one of my favorite times on the days we talk.  Not if I was selfish—it would be a burden and I would miss out on the wonderful relationship that I have forged with someone I love so very much.

I became aware of a young man (senior in high school) that just accompanied his mom and his grandma to Florida.  Doesn’t sound like much fun on the surface given a teen’s propensity to perfect the art of selfishness?  Oh well, once at the destination, the kid could “ditch the ol’ gals” and party strong on the beach during the day and at the pool at night.  That’s if he was selfish.  The fact that he wasn’t selfish is what makes this one of my favorite stories of the year.

His grandmother is wheelchair bound and had never seen the ocean.  Imagine that.  Grandma was going to see the ocean for the very first time deep in the winter of her life.  For a moment at some point on this trip, her mature face was going to transform and be filled with the smiles of a child.  Her senses would come alive with a new smell, a new sight, and a glorious new sound.  “You don’t want to miss it”.

That’s what his dad said to him before he left on the trip.  He was reminded to tuck away the selfishness long enough to bear witness to a once in a lifetime occurrence.  Soak it in and cherish it.  He told him “you may not recognize the value at eighteen, but there will come a time when you’re older, and that memory of being with your mom and grandma at such a glorious time will be a moment to cherish”.

Dad’s sage advice was heard loud and clear.  He was there, and as a result, he’ll now have something to press between the pages of his mind and love every second of it.  It’s something he’ll never lose sight of in his memory’s eye.  Not now, but sometime in the future it will hit him hard as to what he witnessed.

We all have our selfish ways—I get it.  But, try to minimize the occurrences in order to love what other people might see and feel.  I remember my dad being there every step of the way during my little league baseball career.  He must have sacrificed thousands of hours from doing other things.  Instead, he was laying on his stomach holding my feet still while I learned to swing a bat.  How many balls did he turn around and chase while I learned to throw?  Hours upon hours of teaching me the lesson of not being selfish—thanks dad.  It was a lesson learned that I’m still trying to perfect.  The older I get the more I focus on not being selfish.  Yes, little things are what matters.  What we do means a lot to so many people.

As a teenager, this uneventful trip with mom and grandma might seem a little corny now.  Unless of course, he remembers grandma’s face at that very special moment.  He will.  We all do.  It comes with age—probably when his kids see the ocean for the very first time and he’s able to see that same joy and wonder in a much younger face.


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