“The whole is the sum of the parts, so be a good part.” – Nate McConnell


This article is dedicated to my grandson, Luke Anderson, Dec. 3, 1996 – Oct. 10, 2005, a victim of an undiagnosed disability from birth.

Some of my avid readers will recall that last year I talked about reaching out and touching those who help you achieve success.  I also touched on reaching those who need your assistance financially and physically.

This year has been a most difficult and heart-rending year for most of us to understand. We cannot  comprehend the strife and horrors of the floods, the earthquakes, the tsunamis, the hurricanes, the war in Iraq and the never-ending situation in the Middle East.  It’s difficult to get up in the morning and read these on-going scenarios and then go to our offices and our work places.

There’s not much we can do about a lot of these things.  But there is a lot we can do in our communities, towns and cities.  So, whether you’re reading this in Moncton, Burnaby, Belleville, Toronto or Montreal, you can make a difference and feel good about it!

I didn’t have to do much research about what I was going to write. Almost 12 years of memories came flooding back,  and that was enough to prompt me to share the following with you.

The article, as stated, is dedicated to my grandson Luke.  It is also dedicated to his parents, Shelley and Brad, and his loving and dedicated big brother Mathew.  They, like us, will remember and cherish his life.

What we can learn from Luke and his family was that the community in which he lived and thrived – Bowmanville, Ont., came together to make a difference in his life.  The school’s special needs teachers and the kids that revered Luke as a hero cannot go unmentioned.

 Luke was included in camping trips with his dad and big brother.  He was a kid who loved to play street hockey as Shelley pushed him around in his wheelchair with the neighbourhood kids. He loved to float in the family pool.  He made it known with his “yowls of displeasure’” if you changed the channel on his favourite TV shows like Let’s Make a Deal, or Ellen Degeneres.

 Specialty caregivers who came to assist Luke’s parents did so with affection and loving care. They were gems.   Luke always brought a smile to each of us, family and friends alike, by his wonderfully accepting nature.

The close to 200 friends and relatives who attended last month’s funeral for Luke had many fond memories of his life.  They came to celebrate his life with many eulogies. Strange, isn’t it, that someone who never uttered a word touched so many with his infectious toothy smile. It’s quite an achievement for one little guy so incapacitated. 

Most of us have had a fabulous year in sales.  Many of us take everyday living as a right and not as it should be; a gift. Yes, a gift to give to others what each of us enjoys everyday.  Normalcy in our lives should never be taken for granted.  The question I asked of you last year, I will repeat to you again in ’05. 

Have you been taking your family, friends, associates and past clients for granted?  Have you acknowledged them in all the ways that you would want to be acknowledged?

Heino Molls’ article, (The Publisher’s Page, November REM), touched me in many ways, not because it was coincidental to my recent loss of my grandson, but because I realized that I had to become more in touch, more sensitive to my family and my friends than ever before. I’ve decided to become more involved in some of my favorite charities and devote more time to the Native Canadian’s Na-Me-Res outreach program here in Toronto.

So, my fellow colleagues from coast to coast, I challenge you to become more involved with your community and especially your family.  Kudos to those companies that we see in REM’s Good Works column each month, that become involved in community work.  They do it without expectation of recognition, but you should do it because it makes you feel good.

This is the month of celebrating many holidays, with much joy and gift giving.  Make sure you do your “thing,” to make someone’s life just a little richer, by making his or her life better.

If interested in contributing to a registered charity for children with undiagnosed disabilities, contact For The Love Of A Child, P.O. Box 263, Whitby, Ontario, L1N 5S1

Thought for the Month:

“A keen sense of humour helps us to tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected and outlast the unbearable.”- Rev. Billy Graham

Stan Albert is an associate broker with Re/Max Professionals in Etobicoke, Ont. and in May 2006, will celebrate his 35th year in real estate. He serves on the Complaints, Compliance and Discipline Committee at RECO, and the Professional Standards Committee at the Toronto Real Estate Board. He is an established trainer and business consultant and can be reached at [email protected]; or www.Trainingforrealestate.com


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