This special edition blog post is written by our Executive Director, Chrysti R. Britt. As with most things, when we asked Chrysti to write a blog post, she wasn’t fazed one bit!

I’ve had the amazing fortune of learning from incredible people in my life, but none so much as my three fascinating children. Imagine this scenario—you’re driving and having a conversation with a child (you can borrow one of mine if you’d like). You’re paying attention to the road, turning the radio down, wondering what message just dinged on your phone, thinking about what’s for dinner, planning the errands you need to run next, all while your child is telling you the most important thing that happened in their day. The next thing you know, they turn to you for a response. It hits you—you have no idea what they just said! You’ve responded with the obligatory “uh huh” and “ok” but those were autopilot responses. You were so lost in everything else, you heard their voice but didn’t listen to what they said. It’s happened to me. It happens to all of us.

What now? Do you ramble something to try to convince that little person you were listening? Do you change the subject? What I’ve learned is that my child has just told me the most important thing in their world in that moment. They care about me enough to share it, and I missed it. So, it is up to me to own it. I sincerely apologize and ask for forgiveness. I ask them to repeat it. But this time I listen—I truly listen. And I have to consciously and continuously practice being present. Every single time.

Building a trusted organization is no different. We must be present. Not just with our name or our logo, but with our whole entity. From the staff to the board to our communications to our services. We must show up, each and every day, in all situations, ready to give it our all. Sure, we won’t be perfect—no one is. But we must strive to be consistent. We must be courageous and have the difficult conversations—the sincere apology in my story—and practice being present so that we can generously give ourselves to our work.

In a world where the “next best thing” is just a click away, consistency is comforting. Being able to rely on someone or something because you know you can trust them is a gem. Not only do I have three young lives that rely on me at home, but here at Cultivate we have a whole community that relies on us to show up regularly, consistently, generously and courageously every single day. There’s no difference whether at work or at home.

Here at Cultivate, I am humbled by the many people that care enough to share their lives with us. And it is up to each of us to honor them by genuinely listening and demonstrating that we are a trustworthy organization.

We are grateful to our community for trusting us, supporting us, and working with us to help seniors flourish in every community. Join us today and contribute your presence to our community!