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Being courteous and 'living to serve'

Senior moments

POSTED: December 31, 2017 3:21 p.m.
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Rich DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care.

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The other day I was getting directions off of my cell phone, and when I arrived at my destination I said to Siri, "Thank you," to which I received the reply, "I live to serve."

Wow! How many times do you hear someone – or in this case, something – say that? Of course my phone doesn’t really live to serve, it merely repeats what has been programmed in the device. Still, it was a nice thing to hear.

I don’t make it a habit to talk to my phone, yet my parents always taught me to be thankful and express my gratitude whenever appropriate. I wouldn’t have made it to my destination without directions that day, hence my sincere gratefulness to Siri.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone we came in contact with was living to serve? Every time I go to a Chick-fil-A restaurant, I love to hear the person waiting on me say, "My pleasure." This is a wonderful and sincere way to let people know you are happy to help them.

It’s not surprising to learn that Chick-fil-A was among the top companies in 2015 to provide the best customer service. Other companies that made the list include Amazon, Nordstrom, Trader Joe’s, Marriott International, Apple and State Farm Insurance.

In 2013, data group Marchex examined more than 600,000 phone calls to find the most polite states in the country. The top five states for being the most-courteous were South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Louisiana and Georgia.

My wife is from Georgia and I can truly say that her smile and warm-way about her is what caught my attention most.

Kars4Kids, a national nonprofit that focuses on road safety, surveyed drivers in every U.S. state, asking about their behavior in various driving situations. The results showed drivers in the western United States – including Hawaii and Alaska – were the most polite in general. Drivers over the age of 50 tended to be more courteous and women were more courteous than men.

Taken state-by-state, drivers in Idaho were the most polite, while drivers in New York were the rudest. Georgia ranked 44 out of 50. I guess as courteous as we may be, put us behind a steering wheel and we tend to get a little aggressive.

We just celebrated the birth of Jesus, who I believe would rank first in living to serve. There are other people in the world that have served well – Mother Theresa, Thomas Jefferson, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, Anne Frank. The list could go on and on.

I’m not well-schooled on the Chinese Zodiac signs and what each one means, but I did want to note that 2018 is the Year of the Dog, man’s best friend. The Dog is the 11th sign of the Chinese zodiac. Sympathetic and intelligent, he has a binary approach to life and his relationships with others. If you benefit from his friendship or his love, a Dog will never disappoint you.

The Dog is the most conservative and traditionalist of all the signs of the Chinese zodiac. In the professional world, the Dog may often be a judge, police officer, teacher, educator, clergy or doctor. All of these professions are positions of service to others. How cool is that?

Maybe 2018 could be the year we all dedicate ourselves to living to serve. It would certainly be my pleasure, my friends!

 Contact DeLong at 912-531-7867 or

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