Termites. The little bugs that cause thousands of dollars in destruction to homes. Unfortunately, we had a wooden post near our house that we thought, could possibly be eaten by termites. Yikes!
Within days, a sales guy from Orkin pulled into my driveway to inspect the post and give me the good or bad news.
Working from home, I'm always happy for a break when someone shows up to the house, and Adam from Orkin was no different.
I met him in the driveway, we chatted about the bugs, we walked around the yard and within minutes he knew the issue wasn't termites. Praise the Lord!
I live our a ten-acre wooded lot and our conversation quickly turned to our property, him growing up playing and working on his grandparents property of 45 acres and how we both loved the outdoors.
I'm not sure how we got on the topic, but I learned that Adam had a master's degree in Clinical Psychology but through a series of events he landed a job with Orkin. We discussed law enforcement and serial killers. I know, it's a weird obsession I had for many years. It's the reason I wanted to go into the FBI. He recommended a good movie on Teddy Bundy, that I hadn't seen. And now I wish I wouldn't have watch. Good, but down right creepy! But I digress.
Adam is a philanthropist in his own right and has a dream of building a facility for dogs that need homes. His passion about his own furry friend and those abandoned and neglected were evident.
After an hour of chatting, I asked if I could snap a picture. Standing in the driveway I felt like I was talking with an old friend. I even mentioned, how I'd love for him and his fianc , who is getting her PhD at Notre Dame, to join my husband and I for dinner.
I've learned throughout my giving journey, if I take a moment to engage with people, I usually find we have more in common than we think. On the surface it may not look like it. I'm female and Adam is male. I'm white and he's black. I work from home and he drives around in a car all day. I'm married and he's engaged. I have a bachelor's degree and he has a master's. The list of our difference could go on and on, but our conversation didn't focus on our differences. We spent our time focused on what we had in common, and it was a lot.
Maybe there is a coworker, someone at church, or even the coffee shop barista that you think, "we have nothing in common." Step outside your comfort zone and ask them a couple of questions about themselves, and I'm hopeful, that just like Adam and me, you'll find that you are more alike, than different.
Day 7 Giving Challenge: Get to know someone new. Invest time in a thoughtful conversation about them and their life.
Did you know... it is estimated that between 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 students in the U.S. say they have been bullied at school, most occurring in middle school, with the most prevalent type of bullying being verbal and social. (Source: stopbullying.gov)
Chat with your Children: I bring up the topic of our differences because as a society, at times, we seem so polarized and focused on our differences, that we don't take time to look at what we have in common. Our children pay attention. They mimic our behavior. I don't have children, but I've heard over and over from parents, of how they really must watch what they say, because they've heard their kids repeat words that weren't appropriate for their age, but guess what, they heard it from their parents.
Children who are at risk for being bullied are those that are perceived by other students as different. We need to chat with our children, that different isn't bad. Different, especially on the outside, doesn't reflect what's on the inside of a child. Just because a child may have glasses, be a little overweight or shy, doesn't change anything about how smart, funny or kind they are. It just makes them unique, and we are all unique in our own ways. Some differences we can see and others we can't. At the end of the day, teaching children that we are all equal and to be kind to all we meet is how we, even adults, should behave.
Bonus Story: My uncle Frankie was born with Down Syndrome, but over the thirty plus years he was in my life, I realized we had much more in common than we did different.