Holding On to the Can-Do Attitude

Recently, my uncle passed away and I attended the funeral just this past weekend. You know, it’s never a good time to have a relative pass on. But it can be particularly difficult around the holidays when families are getting together to celebrate.

When the end of the service approached and all of the participants were streaming out of the church, I noticed an older woman sitting in the pew in front of me. My cousin was sitting next to her and he asked if she needed any assistance. She replied that she was going to be fine.

As the congregation began to thin out, I noticed her walker. I then followed up on my cousin’s offer to the older woman, asking if she needed any assistance. Again, she replied that she had everything under control and that she was waiting for the elevator.

As I was leaving, she grabbed my arm and said, “I do appreciate the offer. But you know, I’ve been to France, Italy, and Greece. If I can find my way around another country, I think I can manage to get out of a church in my hometown.”

I was amazed. At a time many people are looking for ways to get someone else to do the heavy lifting for them, here was an older woman who valued her independence. She also had a number of resources at her disposal that she tied together with a strong, can-do attitude. We often don’t think about our memories and experiences as useful resources, but that’s what they are, and they are at our disposal to enhance our current experiences.

In the Dale Carnegie Course, we often help participants to exercise their flexibility and to think outside the box. We also help them to recognize some of their past achievements, to recognize that they have done some good work in the past and it is these experiences and memories that can be leveraged to assist in future endeavors.

I left the church that morning feeling uplifted. I had the pleasure of meeting a determined woman, someone who was profoundly aware of her capabilities, and what she could do with those abilities.
We should all be as fortunate to have that same presence of mind and the same can-do attitude when we reach her age.

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