I am a firm believer in the idea that our dogs teach us lessons through simple things. Their behavior is the main source of our company’s inspired by dog concepts. For instance, one lesson that I have taken from Henry is to “Always Leave Your Mark”. I was recently so moved by a story told to me by a dear friend about her daughter. It truly defined what it means to “Always Leave Your Mark”.
First, a brief backstory.
We moved down to California when my daughter Abby was going into the 4th grade. She was not too happy to leave her friends behind in the state of WA and start a new school where she didn’t know anyone. As you can imagine, for a nine year old this isn’t the easiest experience, so I decided to join her for lunch on hersecond day of classes. We were invited to sit down at a table with two very “stereotypical” California girls. As they sat across from us with their sunkissed faces and sun bleached blonde hair, one of the little girls welcomed us. Her name was Madison McCulloch, and that day she asked us a lot of questions about where we came from, and excitedly told us all about Seal Beach. That day, Abby and Madi became instant friends.
Fast forward eight years later; that freckled faced little girl has grown up into a beautiful young woman who not only holds a leadership position at her high school, but also works a part time job and volunteers regularly for a number of worthy causes. Obviously, for any sixteen year old these are all wonderful accomplishments. However, what makes Madi stand out is how she leaves her mark on a daily basis that showcases the true spirit of humanity.
Madi works at a local coffee shop, Bogarts. She is quite personable and is a valued employee. Upon visiting the coffee shop, her mother witnessed a beautiful selfless act of kindness towards another human being. Like many communities around the country, there are individuals in Seal Beach who do not have a roof over their head, a regular place to sleep, to bathe, or to eat. One such gentleman walked into Bogarts and was greeted politely and enthusiastically by Madi. His appearance might have made others feel uncomfortable but Madi spoke to him respectfully, and energetically asked him how he was feeling that day while inquiring if he would like a cup of coffee. He graciously answered that he was doing well but needed to use the restroom.
Without hesitation Madi pointed him in the right direction and told him that she would have a cup of coffee and a donut ready for him when he returned. She promptly poured him a cup of coffee and set a donut on the counter. When he appeared again, he took the coffee and donut and politely thanked her before leaving. Madi wished him well and told him to have a wonderful day. My friend watched he daughter in awe as all this took place. She asked her daughter how she could just give him coffee and a donut. Madi smiled at her mother and told her without a second thought that she did it all the time and that she paid for it using her own money. The tears welled up in my friend’s eyes…and mine…when she told me the story.
We all have the opportunity to do things daily that positively impact the world around us. These “things” can be as simple as a smile, lending a helping hand directly, or communicating with another human being with the respect they so deserve. Rather than go about our days caught up with ourselves, our computer, the television, or our smart phones, I challenge everyone to find ways to “Always Leave Your Mark”. With this conscious effort, your home, your work environment, your community, your “world” will be a much brighter, happier, and better place because you have been there.