Flipping through the channels last night looking for highlights of George H.W. Bush’s funeral, I stopped on C-SPAN as the casket was transitioning to the hearse. The silence coming from the television was profound. I found myself enjoying the lack of incessant commentary telling me precisely what I should be seeing. Lost in my own thoughts, my own observations, my own curiosities, not needing to know every piece of minutia. Who’s wearing what designer. Who’s that in the third row that camera just panned. What did George W. hand to Michelle? None of that mattered.
As the minister was recanting the story of former Secretary of State James Baker rubbing the feet of his dear friend and seeing him break down in tears, I remembered a similarly profound moment a few months earlier. I was sitting in my car outside the only in-patient hospice facility in Austin, wondering should I go inside? Will she remember me? Margaret was a former neighbor, friend, and fellow mom raising boys together in Boy Scouts. She was the Cubmaster and was her committee chair. We had lost touch as our boys entered college. I gave myself the same advice I gave to my boys when they had to stop playing video games to go to a scout meeting. “The hardest part is getting there, but when you’re there, you have fun.” An hour or so later of reminiscing, laughing, and catching up on the last ten years, Margaret asked me to rub lotion on her feet as they were always cold.
Speaking of Baker, the minister said, “I witnessed a world leader who was serving a servant who had been our world’s leader.” Whom do you know who could benefit from your service? And I don’t mean your business services. Who needs their feet rubbed? A business leader who experienced a down sales year, employee issues, or personal trauma? Whether it’s a customer, an employee, a neighbor, or a family member, make the time to serve them with a hand-written note, an unexpected call or visit.
Perhaps you are the one needing attention because your cup is empty, or you’re exhausted and overwhelmed with responsibilities. Be like my friend Margaret and ask for what you need.