Last week I met with Carol Roleder, an event planner who specializes in funerals and memorials. She loves helping people plan the memorial of a loved one and the reception that follows not because she’s creepy, but because she loves family. And a memorial is as much a time to celebrate family as is a wedding, a mitzvah, or a baptism.
She told me that from the time she was a little girl she knew she wanted to be a mother. Married with four children, she loves everything about being a mother and a wife. She loves talking about family with newlyweds and tells parents that the most important thing they can teach their children is to trust them. For Carol, trust is the most important gift you can give your child.
When Carol told me that “trust” is at the heart of her family, I squirmed as trust was not a prized virtue in my family. Everything was conditional, including love, and so the “trick” was to not get caught. If you told the truth you could get into trouble; if you lied you could get into trouble. And so you had to strategize on how not to get into trouble! As an adult, I had to learn how to value trust and how to make it a cornerstone of my life – personal and professional.
Carol told me that trust is at the heart of what she does as an event planner. In a time of grief, a time of confusion, people entrust her with the celebration of their loved one – the celebration of their family. What greater trust is there?
The first funeral home that trusted her, Cabot in Pasadena, told her that they were willing to give her just one chance to prove that she deserved their trust. They gave her that opportunity because she presented herself as trustworthy. How did she manage that?
They said she didn’t come across as an ambulance chaser; that her passion and care came through not only in what she said, but also in how she said it. There was a look in her eye and a tremble in her voice that made them believe she was “real.”
In a world of slick commercial promises and in a world filled with folks who over-promise and under-deliver, isn’t it refreshing when you find someone whose trust is reliable? Someone who responds to calls and emails promptly, supplies useful information, and goes beyond what is merely required. Someone who looks you in the eye and searches for what you really need, for what you’re really saying.
What about you – is trust one of the words people would readily use to describe you?
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