It is so easy for us to look around at our community as we drive into work, take the kids to soccer practice or wherever we may be going in our daily lives and see things in community that we don’t like or that we complain about. A pothole on Main Street that keeps growing, graffiti on an overpass, old abandoned buildings that need to be torn down or restored – the list could go on and on. Who hasn’t seen one of these eyesores and thought, “I wish someone would do something about that!”
TREKK’s mission is to Improve Lives. When you think about that statement, you may say, “That’s a very admirable thing to try to accomplish, however, how do you ever really improve someone’s life?” I thought long and hard about that statement. How can one person improve someone’s life? What are some ways I can impact people in my community?
The ironic thing is, the people you see improving lives may not realize they are doing it.
Case in point. I have a colleague who meets with citizens in my community every day as part of their job. The actions, words, sincere listening and positive attitude of this person are infectious to the people they meet each day. In a few short minutes, this person improves people’s lives, improves their day, improves their attitude, improves their outlook on life. And yet, the person responsible doesn’t even realize they’re doing it because that’s just who they are on the inside.
You can only imagine the challenge I felt inside myself to emulate this person. I’ve always strived to be a positive spirit in this world; I’ve always strived to work hard and exceed the expectations of those around me. But what if I also started to improve every life around me – each life I came into contact with each day until it becomes a part of who I am?
I started implementing that into my life, each day, each person, trying to improve their lives even if I am in it for just a brief moment.
I set out to improve the lives of my clients, improve the lives of citizens, improve lives in my community, improve the lives of my co-workers. It could be as simple as taking a soda to a co-worker you know is going through a hard time. Or randomly delivering cookies to clients in the middle of the afternoon just because warm cookies make anyone smile. Truly getting to know your vendors or contractors and building a great work relationship with them. Or being a great listener because sometimes a citizen just wants someone who truly cares about improving lives to listen to their concerns.
Through our work developing infrastructure solutions to improve our communities, we are given a greater responsibility to truly impact the lives of the people who live in those communities. Whether it’s lending an ear or lending a hand, we can all do our part to improve the lives of those around us.
My father always taught me that to become a great leader, you first need to be able to serve others. That’s the legacy he left to me, and that’s the legacy I am trying to leave behind. I am so thankful to TREKK for being a place that not only believes in me and allows me to do everything possible that I can to be the best at what I do, but it also allows me to do what I do and to care about those whom we serve.
~ Matt Ridpath