What Makes People Care?

What made the Delta agent in the Sky Club in Raleigh this morning care? What made him decide to go out of his way and change our flight from one with a stopover to a direct flight and put us in first class? This was outside of the rule book. No one told him to do it. It took more of his time and effort to make this change. There was no obvious benefit to him, and a significant benefit to us. What made him care enough to do it?

Virginia and Alice gave Drew such great attention when he visited recently.

What made a man tell all in line at the Dollar General in St. Marys, GA to put all of their items on the belt, and he then paid for everyone’s items? He did not know the people in line, one of whom was our daughter. This decision cost him money. There was no obvious benefit to him, other than probably the momentary feel-good behavior this gesture created, and the appreciation of those he helped. What made him care enough to do it?

What made my dear cousin, Lolly, get many boxes and packing paper for us, and spend hours of her own time helping me wrap, box up, and haul items from our home into the garage, helping me to prepare for a home showing and sale?  She has many other things to do with her time. What makes her care enough to spend her time helping me?

What makes some people go out of their way to do nice things for others, and other people never even consider doing so? You know what I mean. You have your own examples.

Some of the reason relates to personality. By personality, some people are others-centered, and some are self-centered. If one is self-centered and wants to change that and become more caring and giving, that change can be made.

Some of the reason relates to upbringing. This reason isn’t as clear cut as it might appear on the surface. Some people are loved and nurtured as children in such a manner that they naturally want to “pay it forward.” Some others are not, and may in fact be neglected and even abused. Some of these in the latter group turn their pain into a giving spirit, breaking the cycle of neglect and abuse, becoming a much better person than was modeled to them.

Some of the reason may relate to busyness, and not thinking about reaching out and touching others in a positive manner. If those in this group slow down, look around them at the needs of others, and care enough to, they can become more giving and caring to others.

Which group are you and I in? Is our answer to this the same that others would give for us? If we do not like the answer, we can change. But only if we want to, and find ways to reach out and touch someone in a positive manner.

About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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