remember a person in my life. An ordinary person with
an extraordinary love for life, and for people. This extraordinary
person, taught me everything I ever needed to know about
leadership. It wasn’t so much what they said that
made the biggest impression, it was what they did that
mattered most. They lived a life that mattered. Truly
mattered. Not only to me, but to all the people that knew
and loved this person.
person never said an unkind word about anyone in my presence.
Never once. In fact, they spent most of their time writing
handwritten notes of encouragement to hearts needing a
lift. I can’t pass the card section in the store,
without a warm fuzzy feeling coming over me.
person told me to treat everyone I meet, as if they were
a King. To treat others, the way I want to be treated.
I was told to imagine they had a sign around their neck
that said, “Make me feel
important!” There was another little sign
hanging underneath it that said, “Don’t
belittle me!” It’s the first thing
I see, when I meet someone new.
person told me to put kindness and integrity in everything
I do. They told me to expect the best in people…to
look for it. They told me to love most, love best…and
to always, always, love. “When it’s all said
and done, the only thing that matters is, did you love
someone?” They believed this was what truly
mattered. It was their favorite saying, and now has become
mine. They told me to know what I value, and become
what I value. They were the representation of
everything I hold dear. They told me to trust God with
the outcome. They trusted him completely with all the
parts, right up to the last hard one.
told me so many things…but what they showed me,
left an incredible path of light to follow.
showed me love. Unconditional love. The
no matter what kind of love, that makes me want to stand
up and shout, “Thank you for loving me like
showed me hope. Unbelievable hope. The
expect it to work out alright kind of hope. The kind you
need when all else fails. The kind that gets you through
the worst of times, and keeps you looking ahead to the
best of times.
showed me faith. Incredible faith. The
hand in there with the best you’ve
got kind of faith. The kind of faith that got them through
the darkest hour of their life, and even with their last
ounce of strength and courage, told those they loved,
to “Keep the faith!”
still learning how to be a better leader, because I’m
still following the example of the finest person I ever
knew. I loved her, and want her to know that, yes
indeed, I am still keeping the faith! I’ll
always remember her as the person who made the biggest
difference in my life, because she made me want to be
a better person.
you for that, Mama. As usual, you were right.
It was the only thing that really mattered.
(In memory of Dorothy Faith Patterson
Jolly, who left this world a better place, June 27, 2001.)