Now, More than Ever, We Need to C.A.R.E.

by Al Smith

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I originally wrote this for publication in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, this past April.  The CARE Movement is based on the principles and suggestions in this article.  I could not think of a better first blog, than my very first published article.  Hope you enjoy.  I look forward to your comments on this and every future blog post.  Thank you.

I urge you to open your heart, your mind, your eyes and your ears. What you are about to read can make a huge difference in your life and the lives of the people you work for, and work with, every day.

Why is it that most people seem to CARE more about the way they look, the way they feel, and what they have, but do not seem to actually CARE about other people? Could it have something to do with the economy? Or the fact that inflation fears are running rampant? We keep hearing that the economy is getting better, but times are tough and we can see the stress, frustration, anxiety and even anger, in the people we interact with.

I recently heard some comments like, “If you can’t control it, you can’t worry about it,” and “You can only control two things, your attitude and your behavior.” These are both true statements, but how can we not worry about our problems, and what can we do? Let’s focus on helping others, being of service and making a real difference in these tough times.

Yes, now is the time to try something different and make a change. We must start to give, share and CARE, focus on helping others, turn the “me” into “we” and make a difference.

You may be saying, what about me and my family? Well here is the harsh truth and the real answer to the initial question of this article; we as a society have become more selfish and self-absorbed.

We can’t help it, it is our nature (and we are taught) to look out for No. 1. We can always find something or someone to blame, but the fact is we are responsible.

Suggestions to Implement CARE at Work and Home

  • Communicate and connect: With technology today, we are communicating but not connecting. Texting, Twitter and Facebook are all great, but let’s try and spend more time actually talking to people, face-to-face. The best way to connect is to LISTEN. Learn to listen, listen to learn.
  • Appreciate: Appreciation and praise cost nothing to give, but the benefits to morale are priceless. You bring out the best in others with appreciation and encouragement.
  • Respect: Be nice to everyone and treat everyone with respect. If you want respect, you need to show respect.
  • Encourage: Always encourage others. Take a minute to talk — or, better yet, listen — to your co-workers or family members. It will make a difference.
  • Acknowledge good: Look for the good in people and acknowledge it. Focus on accomplishments, not mistakes. Ken Blanchard said it best in “The One-Minute Manager”: Catch them doing something right! 
  •  Be optimistic — stay positive: Focus on the solution, not the problem. It will get better. Think positive thoughts and good things will happen.
  • Be grateful: Be thankful you have a job. Look at it like you GET to go to work, not that you HAVE to. Make a list of the things you are grateful for.
  • Be humble: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Try to think of the other person first.
  • Positive attitude: Attitude is everything! Your attitude toward life, people and your job will have a profound effect on what happens every day.
  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain: It is a waste of time and energy and does no good for anyone. Great advice from Dale Carnegie.
  • Keep an open mind: Be open to others’ suggestions. Your mind is like a parachute; it works better when it’s OPEN.
  • Always be an example: People watch people. You can have a huge influence on your co-workers and family members. Smile, laugh, have fun. Choose to make it a good day, have a sense of humor and a positive “can-do” attitude.
  • Say “thank you”: Two small words that mean so much. Express gratitude.
  • Practice: All of the suggestions listed above are easier said than done. Try to implement them and practice them on a daily basis. Work on one or two a week. Share them with your family and co-workers and open up the dialogue for discussion.

I have seen and heard this quote hundreds of times and it never gets old. The great Harvey Mackay and John Maxwell use it all the time: “People don’t CARE how much you know, until they know how much you CARE.”  Is this going to be easy? No, it’s not, but to ease the implementation process, I suggest everyone read the classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

If put into practice, this can and will have a positive impact on your life and your work. Because a happy workplace is a more productive workplace, and a more productive workplace usually translates to more profits and a better working environment.

CARE is not a definition or a destination; it is an opportunity and an obligation. We all need to make a living, but we can CHOOSE to make a difference. Let’s start today, by showing people that we CARE. We need to, now, more than ever. Let’s do it!

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Jk Allen August 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

Al,

Happy to see that you are up and running with the CARE movement. I think you have big things ahead of you and I can’t wait to follow your journey.

Bests to you!
Jk Allen recently posted..Who Needs a MBA (or any Degree) When You Have Hustle?

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Al Smith August 6, 2011 at 10:37 am

Thank you!

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Lori Gosselin August 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Wow Al – this is exciting and such a perfect post to launch this site! You build the case well for caring! I love that quote: “People don’t CARE how much you know, until they know how much you CARE.” – so true! All around the Blogosphere I’m running into people who care profoundly, like you. It’s a changing world and I’m happy to be connected to you – someone at the helm!
All the best!
Lori
Lori Gosselin recently posted..What’s Your Ikigai?

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Al Smith August 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Thanks Lori. You are too kind. Really appreciate the support.

Al

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Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion August 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm

All I can say is WOW!!! I love the site!! Yay for JK and Al. :-)

I’m so very excited for you my friend….Now get to work! ;-)

Marcus
Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..The Indescribable Commitment and Marriage that is Blogging

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Al Smith August 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Thanks Marcus. I am wore out brother. Can’t wait to start growing the community and making a REAL difference (like you). Appreciate you brother.
Al Smith recently posted..Now, More than Ever, We Need to C.A.R.E.

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Kay Dodd Stokes August 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Al – I’m so excited for you and I am GRATEFUL that I get to watch you do what you do best…making people smile, helping them forget about their troubles, and looking UP instead of being DOWN. Love you man. The Stokes’ family is behind you 100%. To coin a phrase (and book title), “See you at the TOP!” Be blessed.

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Al Smith August 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Thank you so much Kay. really appreciate the Love. Luv yall too.

Al

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Bill Dorman August 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Rock & roll buddy.

I volunteer for an organization called Guardian ad Litem. I am involved and deal with a lot of ‘forgotten’ kids. It has really opened my eyes and makes me less judgmental and very appreciative of what I do have instead of worrying about what I don’t have.

Thanks for getting me over here. Hope your weekend is going well.
Bill Dorman recently posted..You can hide but you can’t blog

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Al Smith August 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

Thank you Bill. Sounds like a great organization and very rewarding for all. Being appreciative and having gratitude for what we DO have is so important. We get caught up in all the “Life” stuff and forget how blessed we really are.

Thanks so much for the comment. Look forward to many more.

Al

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Wim @ Sales Sells August 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm

The website looks AWESOME Al, congratulations! I’m very curious about what you have up your sleeve and so glad that we will finally be able to get deeper into the CARE message. Thanks for the positive vibes and break a leg!

Wim
Wim @ Sales Sells recently posted..Sales Vs. Marketing: Let’s Not Be Strangers

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Al Smith August 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Thanks Wim. Not sure what I have up my sleeve, either, Ha ! We are going for it, brother.
Appreciate the support and all your great tips and ideas from your blog.

Continued success, my friend.

Al

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John Sherry August 10, 2011 at 4:24 am

Way to go Al! You’re a true flag bearer and banner waver for good manners, great respect, and helpfulness. Boy, could we all do with a lot fo these on Planet Earth these days. Forget the Care Bears is the C.A.R.E.Sharers now that are the new stars – souls who treat and uplift others with only the best that human nature has to offer. I appalud you and encourage everyone out there to C.A.R.E. like never before!
John Sherry recently posted..Simple Advice For Big Progress

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Al Smith August 10, 2011 at 8:36 am

Thanks so much, John. Really appreciate it, man. You had some real “Simple Advice” regarding CARE , in yesterdays blog. I shared it with everyone I know and posted it on both Facebook pages. Absolutely loved it ! You are such an amazing writer. Keep up the great work on your journey through life. Keep in touch and let me know where you landed. Thanks again and continue to C.A.R.E. and SHARE !

Al

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Lisa Gerber August 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Hi Al,
I love this. thanks for the great advice. I firmly believe in positive thinking, and sometimes it’s easier said than done. We can worry ourselves sick over things, but it always seems to work out in the end; perhaps not as we envisioned it, but it does.
Lisa Gerber recently posted..Communication In the Digital Landscape

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Al Smith August 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Thanks Lisa. Appreciate you comment and the RT earlier. So true, what you said. Most of the things we worry about, never happen. I love the saying: “Don’t live in the wreckage of the future”. Makes a lot of sense. We really only have control over OUR attitude and OUR behavior. If we can’t control it, there is no reason to worry about it.

thanks again so much for your support.

Al
Al Smith recently posted..Now, More than Ever, We Need to C.A.R.E.

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Nancy Davis August 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hi Al,

I am really glad you have this project off the ground. If you ever need help with anything let me know. I think we probably have some things in common. :)

Saying “thank you” is simple but many times forgotten. Everyone wants to be thanked. Simple as that.

You are doing a great thing here Al, and I wish you huge success with it.

Nancy
Nancy Davis recently posted..Random Facts About Me

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Al Smith August 12, 2011 at 10:16 am

Thank you so much, Nancy. You are so right about a simple “thank you”. It means so much. Love your writing Nancy. I think we have some things in common, too.

Take CARE.

Al

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Craig McBreen August 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Interesting that the most recent post on community over at the Sales Lion lead me here. That Marcus fellow rocks :) I love your checklist and these are indeed words to live by. I try to always respect and help others when possible, and am working on staying positive, even with some not so great things happening right now. Always trying to conquer worry. Looks like you’re doing great and good luck to you.

I also want to say your blog design looks great and would love to hear more about how that came to be.

Will subscribe and be back. Thanks, Al!

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Al Smith August 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Thanks Craig. Yeah, Marcus is the best. He and JK Allen have helped me so much. I am eternally grateful.

Do not worry, Craig. It is a waste of time. Instead, try and find someone or something, anything, to be grateful for. Helping others, like you do, gets me out of myself and really helps ME focus on the good things in life, too. Gratitude is the key.

Thanks again and I look forward to connecting further with you. Shoot me an email anytime or call me if you want. I am following you on twitter now, too.

Al

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Craig McBreen August 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Cool! Just followed back.

I’ve subscribed to J.K.’s site too, as I haven’t had a chance to visit.

And yes, working on worry and will definitely focus on helping others even more. I’m on vacation for a week, but when back will push to get this blog up and running.

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Al Smith August 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Sounds great man. Just sent you a direct tweet. Can’t wait to see your blog. You CAN do it and it WILL be Awesome ! Enjoy your vacation.

Al

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Jayme Soulati August 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Welcome to this blog and its founders! We can never get enough of this type of message; I appreciate you’ve adopted this mission. Thank you.
Jayme Soulati recently posted..C-to-B Marketing & Social Media Tips to Buy Vacuum

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Al Smith August 19, 2011 at 6:16 am

Thank you Jayme. Appreciate your comments and look forward to following you and learning from you as well. Take CARE.

Al

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Thomas Waterhouse December 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I love the article, Al, and the list is great! “Appreciation” gets my attention. I think appreciation is a “discipline” given human nature to judge, or “depreciate” others based on arbitrary standards. Yes, C.A.R.E. is indeed an obligation! I think we’re kindred spirits given a “Simple e-Couragement” I sent out in ’09. “We can become so caught up in our biggest dreams and visions that we lose sight of our nearest duty. Our nearest duty is a smile, a touch, or any act of reaching out in a way that says to another, ‘You’re not alone, I love you, and I care’.” Keep up the GREAT work, Al. I APPRECIATE you! :)
Thomas Waterhouse recently posted..Eves

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Al Smith December 29, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Thanks so much Thomas. Your words ring true. Appreciate you too. Your encouragement and appreciation mean a lot. I love your site. Look forward to following you and learning from you. Hopefully we can connect further and perhaps even collaborate in the near future. Take CARE my friend.

Al
Al Smith recently posted..A Trip of Gratitude & CARE

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