Aloha is...getting the best thank you note from an employee.
I often wonder if anyone is listening. I mean, truly actively listening to the ideas, wisdom and advice I often share from my hard-fought life experiences. I just assumed I'm babbling to myself most of the time.
I guess I don't realize just how much I share with my college-aged part-time instructors or how much they even hear. Well, I got my answer last night when I opened up a farewell gift bag from one of my assistants. She was the one resigning, not me.
After wrapping up our end-of-summer Hawaiian luau for 70 members of my gray-haired posse and their families, my assistant, Leanne, approached me to let me know that she's leaving her position to pursue an opportunity that opened up in her field of study. She's studying to become a physical therapist and has been working in a clinic part-time in conjunction with her job as one of my activities instructors of a senior living community. After plenty of hugs and heart-felt wishes, she handed me a bag to open when I got home. In it was this sweet card that, to my surprise, also contained this gift card.
How often does an employee give you a gift card when they resign?
I almost cried out of gratitude for the kindness in her words and in her gesture. I was so very thankful that a college student - who works two jobs, takes all the hardest science and anatomy classes and lives on her own in San Diego - would go out of her way to show gratitude like this. And, while I'm sad to see her go, I'm happy to see her pursue her path of passion and purpose.
I will be the first to admit that some 20-something-year-olds can drive me bananas with their laziness and entitlement attitudes. As someone who's worked since I was 15, I just have no patience for that sometimes. But, this past spring I was blessed to find two outstanding young women to hire as activities assistants to work with senior citizens with varying degrees of physical ability, cognitive ability and memory loss. These young women are both on career paths to positively impact the health and well-being of others: one as a trauma nurse and the other as a physical therapist. Currently, one employee works with autistic kids and the other at a rehab center as their second jobs.
I hired them because I knew that working with the elderly would benefit their career paths and their personal lives in so many ways. I believe that learning how to cultivate love, kindness, compassion, patience, mercy and affection for those who are cognitively or physically limited and often ignored, neglected or even forgotten will forever change how you interact, motivate and heal others because you now have the aloha spirit as your driving force. This force can only make you better at whatever it is you choose to do with your life!
I wanted these students to have the best opportunities and experiences they could get to help them excel in their fields of study. But, I also wanted to pass on whatever little lessons I've learned along the way to ensure their success as women in the world. And, I'm so happy to know my efforts were noticed.
Thank you for your aloha, Leanne, and Aloha blessings for good health, happiness and success!
Live, Love and Lead with Aloha.