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These Hands

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


One of my favourite songs, by Dave Gunning, is called These Hands. In the song he asks over and over again “what shall I do with these hands of mine… the world could use a hero of the human kind…so tell me what shall I do with these hands of mine?”

He acknowledges that some hands have held the world together, some hands have fought wars forever, some hands comfort a baby crying, some bless a million people, some give voice to a nation, some save lives, some create art, some build houses and some hands wrote “the times they are a changing. “

I listen to the song over and over because it inspires me to think about how I use my own hands in the world. What is it that I want to do with my one and only precious life? How can I, and do I, contribute? We all have hands and hearts and we all have gifts to give. We are all unique and creative in our own ways. It is each our responsibility to use our hands, and our hearts, in a way that is a positive force for our family, friends, community and work.

I think this is a good idea to contemplate as we head into our summer. Summer is the busiest time of year in the Haliburton Highlands and we all have to make the best of it so that we can earn enough money to live here year round. Whether we work behind the deli at Foodland, are a waitress at Maple Ave or any other restaurant, work at gas station or at the medical centre we are all ambassadors for Haliburton County. Each one of us makes a difference every time we use our hands and our hearts to be kind, thoughtful, helpful and generous. Every one of us can make (or break) a visitor’s day by the way that we engage and offer good customer service. We won’t get it right or perfect every time, but we can keep trying and working at it. Every day is always a new fresh beginning.

I also think all of us adults, when we go on vacation, need to think about how we are treating the people who serve us. We are all guilty of being overtired, stressed and impatient. We all have busy lives and when we go on vacation we have to make a conscious effort to slow down and find the groove of the community we are visiting. We need to embrace the local customs. We need to be kind and respectful in order to get the service that we desire.

My friends just came back from a two-week trip to the Azores and they were full of stories of the local culture and routines that they fell in love with while on the island.

Tourism is a two-sided relationship and it takes the hosts and the guests to work together to make it a positive experience. It all starts with setting the right intention and working towards it. We each need to show up every day with the best possible attitude. So tell me, what will you do with your hands and heart this summer?

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