Unwavering Dedication To A Childhood Mantra

Dedication to those who provided our income was expected of us.
Father required dedication to local vendors, like himself.

Dedication to Our Local Vendors

Our father was a formidable man who’s very presence demanded respect. His values included a persuasive lesson in dedication to our community.

What I remember most about growing up in the small farming community in southeastern Iowa was his command that we “keep our business at home.” The period behind that statement was so large, we knew never to cross the line to buy anything out of town, which could be purchased locally.

I never really thought about his demand as a child. It certainly made sense to support our friends and neighbors at every opportunity.

Heaven knows, the town was so small that everyone knew everyone else in town. Word would get out quickly if we shunned the locals to drive somewhere else to purchase our goods.

How could we ever cross that solid line and buy something from another community?

A Continued Dedication to Customers

I wrote a blog a few years ago about a confrontation I had with a former employer. He told me how much richer I could be if I could learn to be a bit less honest. My reply at that time (as it would still be today) is that “I sleep very well at night, thank you!”

As we drove across the United States last week, I couldn’t help reliving the memories of where my dedication originated. As surely as the roots of the corn embed themselves in the soils of Iowa, my steadfast resolve to do right by the people who contributed to my successful career will forever be a part of my psyche.

All along our route, I saw the footprints of my customers. General Mills, Cargill, 3M, Wells Fargo, U.S. Xpress, Land O’ Lakes, US Bank, Medtronic, Target, Ecolab, SuperValue, Hormel, C.H. Robinson, Jennie-O Turkey, Toro, H.B. Fuller, Starkey Hearing, and so many more showed up in some manner each day of our journey.

Where Do You Buy Your Butter?

It wasn’t until we were stuck in the car for three days that I realized the lesson I learned in my childhood is now an automatic response.

I always choose Land O’Lakes Butter over any other brand. When it comes to breakfast cereal, I stand in the section of the aisle displaying General Mills products. I smile when I see Cargill signs on the farmland we drive through and carry 3M products in my purse and suitcase, so I can continue to operate my small business when we arrive at our destination.

I wouldn’t think of banking anywhere other than the banks who helped me become the banking expert in my career.

Where is the dedication our forefathers used to display in the marketplace?

Are we so anesthetized to the building blocks of success that we can genuinely afford to toss away those who helped us reach our goals in life?

Can We Return to Another Time?

Can we return to a time when we were passionate and diligent in our support of those who helped us achieve success in life?

I don’t know about you, but this past week brought back memories of what I believe was the cornerstone of my success in life.

Today, far too many unscrupulous business people are willing to toss away and stomp on the remnants of the people who got them where they wanted to go.

I taught a class to those bankers I served back in the ’90s. During that class I used an example of a man who used bankruptcy to achieve his financial goals. I even had documentation of the small contractors and business people he destroyed in his effort to become successful in his demanding father’s eyes.

I’m retired now, so I have nothing to gain from supporting the customers I served back in the day, or do I?

I have the steadfast knowledge that I would be nothing today if it weren’t for the people who trusted my advice. I can never repay the commitment they showed to me when it comes to the security I have in my old-age.

Before you decide to discard that which no longer serves you, you might be well-served to remember where you might have ended up without them. Another person’s dedication to you doesn’t have a price. It has a responsibility.

Dedication Beyond the Vendors

My allegiance isn’t to the goods and services I purchase from my trusted vendors.

It goes far beyond that.

My dedication to the land is also rooted in the soils of Iowa farmland. I could never toss the debris out of the window, as so many other drivers do. The soil needs to be rich to grow the nutritious foods I need. Also, the waters need to be clean to satisfy my thirst. This land is a public trust, and that is how we need to treat it.

Who doesn’t feel a deep-seated dedication to the men and women who have fought for our freedoms for over three centuries?

Are we willing to sacrifice everything to protect the values upon which our nation was built?

Who will protect our church if we are unwilling to protect the churches of our neighbors?

Dedication is a Behavior

The commitment to my community was drilled into me as a child and has become a habit. All behavior is a habit, and it’s something you can control.

  • We show dedication to our families. We offer them love, safety, health, and education while instilling in them the confidence to succeed in all those things.
  • You dedicate yourself to the goals you have set. Without those goals, you are nothing.
  • When it comes to religion, we dedicate ourselves to the beliefs we share with our fellow parishioners.
  • To lack dedication to our jobs and careers, ensures we will never achieve the success we hope for in life.
  • Dedicated people are the most self-disciplined of any of the people you will ever meet.
  • Your dedication to any person, cause, or belief means you are not afraid to voice your feelings. You cannot be intimidated by those who pretend to have more power than you.
  • You are an inspiration to your family, friends, and community when you exhibit your dedication.
  • Dedication is a behavior that others will envy in you and want to copy.

The dictionary definition of dedication does not do the word justice. It is through your beliefs and actions that the simple concept gains credibility and a new life.

Set your new goals wisely.

Dedicate yourself to one new goal and be determined to meet it within a logical timeframe.

The 1,200 plus miles gave me a new perspective on a simple lesson learned in childhood.

What lessons have you dedicated yourself to throughout your lifetime?

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