LeadershipLeanSix Sigma

I Want to Be Like Benny

By Ron Pereira Updated on April 1st, 2013

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” ~Mother Teresa

As I mentioned last week, my Dad is now recovering in a superbly run stroke rehab hospital.

This particular hospital has many wonderful attributes. It’s clean, organized, and actually feels more like a country club than a place of healing.

But the thing that really makes me rest well at night is the memory of one person. His name is Benny.

Benny works as a health care aid which means he, and his fellow aids, wear many hats.

Now I won’t pretend to act as if I know what a heath care aid is supposed to do because honestly, I haven’t a clue.

But what I do know is Benny truly inspired me with the way he performs his job.

Why? Where shall I start?

He Makes People Smile

Benny, who is pictured above with my Dad, is the type of fellow who immediately elevates the mood of a room with his presence.

The patients gravitate to him and Benny knows how to make each of them smile.

For some he sings the first line of a song allowing the patient to finish it. For others he jokes about the “steak and lobster” dinner they are about to enjoy.

No matter what it takes… Benny makes people smile and feel better about where they are.

He’s Compassionate

Benny is also extremely compassionate.

The last night of my visit was very hard. There were so many emotions stirring inside of me. I was crying. My Dad was crying. My siblings were crying.

And as I left my Dad’s room and walked down the hall there was one person I sought out – Benny.

Being the ultimate professional, it didn’t take long for Benny to see how upset we all were.

Benny has this way of looking you in the eye with extreme compassion when needed. And while I never saw Benny cry… it did seem his eyes glistened a bit as if to say, I understand your pain.

My last words to Benny were to please check on my Dad in a few minutes and then I thanked him for all he’s doing for my father.  I left knowing my Dad was in great hands which in turn gave me an incredible amount of peace.

Benny is Good at His Job

With all of this said, there are obviously many technical aspects to Benny’s job. And, to be sure, Benny is great at this phase of the game as well.

While he is a friend to his patients he is also in charge. As such, things are done right and done well.

Be Like Benny

Listen, folks. I’ve met many powerful business leaders including CEO’s of multi-billion dollar companies. Sure these folks can inspire with their charisma and charm.  Earlier in my career it was people like this that inspired me.  Not anymore.

Instead, it’s people like Benny that inspire me at this phase of my life.

You see, I want to make people smile like Benny. I want to be as compassionate as Benny. I want to be as good at my work as Benny is at his.

I’m not sure I ever will be… but, God willing, I’ll die trying. I welcome you to do the same.  If we all do this… the world will be a much better place.

Thank you, Benny

Thank you for what you do, Benny. I, and I know I am speaking for my family, appreciate you more than you know.

  1. Michelle Pereira

    September 27, 2010 - 7:59 am

    Ron………thank you for writing this article. You made me cry AGAIN!

    I would like to say to those who follow my brother, I appreciate him so much, I hope you do as well.

    Thought for the day……….Appreciate those who make a difference.

    Michelle Pereira

  2. Ron Pereira

    September 27, 2010 - 8:02 am

    Thanks, Michelle. And stop calling me Ron… I’ll always be Ronnie to you! Ha! I love you.

  3. Michelle Pereira

    September 27, 2010 - 8:03 am

    ha ha….I know, I was just trying to be “Professional”!!! Love ya

  4. Ariana

    September 27, 2010 - 8:15 am

    What a beautifully written article. Thank you for sharing such an intimate story with us.

  5. Avijit

    September 27, 2010 - 9:55 am

    the picture and the words had such a powerful effect – I am sure your Dad will recover very very soon – best wishes

  6. Dhruv Dar

    September 28, 2010 - 6:48 am

    Hi Ron, Thanks for the beautiful article. We all work hard for ourselves, but there are very, very few like Benny who work so that others can be happy. Wish more of us could be like him, so the world would be a happier place for all. Wish your dad a speedy recovery. And yes, wish Benny also a happy future!

  7. Dave Henderson

    November 2, 2010 - 1:29 pm

    Ron, thanks for having the courage to post this story. You are so right. We need more Benny’s in this world. After reading your article – I am more committed to putting compassion back into how I deal with people on a day to day basis. All the best to you and your family and to your Dad a speedy recovery!

  8. judie

    August 9, 2011 - 4:26 pm

    We are so proud of you Uncle Benny! thank you for appreciating his sincerity. he loves his work and he enjoys what he is doing. very touching story.

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