Providing cheerful assistance is a regular practice throughout our assisted living and memory support community. It’s not just instinctive behavior but the cardinal principle of a successful assisted living environment.
We pride ourselves on helping residents whenever possible – even with the simplest acts of kindness and courtesy.
During this holiday season, I recalled a book entitled Unselfish World by Richard E. Sasso, a South Florida business executive with a 40-year career in cruise lines, now President/CEO of MSC Cruises, N.A.
Due to a common, every day incident, he has dedicated himself to restoring unselfishness as an instinctive human behavior. Midway through a slim self-published 84-page book, Sasso recounts his experience when upon arriving outside a bagel shop with another “regular” for a morning coffee, he hastened to reach the door before her.
“Noting a look of anger on her eyes as she assumed I was rushing ahead to beat her in line, little did she know the real reason for my rush was to thoughtfully open the door first so that she could enter before me.
“Imagine her facial expression, reaction and demeanor when it became apparent she had misjudged my motive…quickly realizing that instead of a selfish act on display, I was demonstrating an unselfish instinct and she was the benefactor.”
That instant permanently changed their daily relationship to exchanging smiles, a transformation Sasso realized how easy it became to perform a simple act of courtesy.
“One unselfish act every day is worth everything. Open your eyes, your hearts, and your minds…pay attention to your surroundings a bit more,” he writes. “You will notice situations that encourage you to behave unselfishly. Acts of unselfishness are the most rewarding things we can do. Don’t do a good deed for thanks; do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
Today, his family pools money to buy holiday gifts for others, something that had never before occurred to a career-oriented father who became convinced at a bagel shop that by changing simple acts of living from selfish motives to instinctively unselfish behavior, human relationships would also begin to change.
“Enjoy your own style of unselfish behavior among family, friends, associates and strangers — it’s as simple as exchanging a smile,” he advises.
It’s our style and mission and why our residents and staff enjoy friendships not only during holidays but every day at The Peninsula.
For information, visit on-line <unselfishworld.org>.