Hide and seek

Candace Shiffman

Candace Shiffman (FL ’15), team leader, Mortenson Family Dental

A phrase that was uttered more than once and by more than one speaker during my Focus Louisville experience was “find your passion.”  Shortly followed by “…then, act on it.”  One could quickly identify those individuals who already have.  Who already know what their “life’s work” is.  Those individuals certainly included every one of our speakers.  It also included a handful of the other participants.  There is an infectious energy about these people that makes you yearn to join their ranks, to listen with extra care to what they say, to connect.

I walked into the room the first day, all smiles, and confident that I too, know what my life’s work, my passion, is.  But I quickly realized that I had to get out of my own way.  LISTEN.  ENGAGE.  You are not giving back, you are receiving a gift from those people you choose to assist. It’s a game of Hide and Seek. My Focus Louisville experience was my first real attempt at seeking.

What I found was Mark Hogg, Waterstep CEO, whom I knew from joining one of Waterstep’s trips to bring clean water to several communities in Haiti last year. I thought I already knew everything he had to say, but one cannot capture his exuberance in a pamphlet.  His quick wit and playfulness were cherries on top of his presentation, but it was his joy that stopped my breath.  About his wife, about a phone call he received that uncovered their water process, about shoes and Cinderella, about the “Power of One,” and, above all, about the people around the world that his efforts have aided. It was never, “look what I have done,” but “look what these people have done for me…have done for themselves.”

I also found Kim Baker, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts president, who opened her presentation with, “I have the best job in the world.”  With servant-like attitude, she spoke about the children served and inspired through their education programs…children who were “found.”  She spoke about healing the community through the wide variety of programs that find their way to KCA, including local groups who simply need opportunity. There were nuggets to be found everywhere from the elementary school principal’s pride in the students’ drawings on the wall to the Harbour House’s delight in inviting us to their Valentine’s Day party.

Hide and seek.  It sounds simple, but, perhaps, its so simple, we forget to do so.  If you have read this far, I have found YOU!  Get out of your own way and start seeking.  Tag, you’re it.


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