The Buddy Gift.

Both of my children make me very proud. Yes, I'm one of those dads. My kids aren't perfect, sometimes they drive me nuts, sometimes they fight, sometimes they do kid stuff that can get under my skin. But they are damn GOOD kids. 

My oldest loves soccer. She lives it, eats it, sleeps it and as a side effect, so does the rest of the entire Jelneck clan. We have soccer balls all over the house, we have soccer socks mixed in with damn near every article of clothing in the house, there are shin guards, water bottles, uniforms and pretty much any article that you can purchase from either the Orlando City Lions or The Orlando Pride all over our house.

Orlando Pride Star Alex Morgan gives back to fans.

Orlando Pride Star Alex Morgan gives back to fans.

So while my oldest is a bit obsessed with soccer, she's also obsessed with making people smile. Case in point, at her school, she is a big 'buddy' to a kindergartner. They hang together, go to church together, she helps her buddy with her reading, she's basically a mentor to her buddy. Her buddy adores her. She looks up to my oldest Malia as if she could do no wrong. Well, Malia's buddy also loves soccer. She is obsessed with the Orlando Pride and in particular, Alex Morgan. Malia decided that she was going to make her buddy smile and smile and smile, by getting as many autographs from the Orlando Pride as she could. She accomplished that. She had a poster of Alex Morgan, had Alex sign it personally and she obtained roughly 8 other Orlando Pride autographs after the home games, at an exhibition, anywhere she could, she got those signatures. I had no idea what she was up to,  I thought she was simply obsessed as a raving fan, but she wanted all of those signatures for her buddy and not for herself.

As the school year came to a close, Malia couldn't wait to give. She couldn't wait to present this poster to her buddy. My wife had to slow her down, Malia was so excited to give, but we had to make her wait. Finally, the day came. We got the poster framed and Malia presented it to her buddy at school. The smiles on both of them were priceless beyond belief. This act of pure gift warms my heart. It helps me know that I'm raising a good kid. It helps me know that I'm raising a human being who truly cares about the smiles of others.

Malia gets some hang time with Alex Morgan

Malia gets some hang time with Alex Morgan

How can we give like Malia? Give to your customers. Put them first. Make it a goal to see them smile. Make it a goal to feed them the stuff that they are looking for. Make it a priority to serve with a smile. Make it a mission to serve the local community as a business. Make it a mission to do the right thing when it counts, when it matters, when there aren't dollars on the line. Make it a point to be a human. I realize business is business, but does it always have to be about your bottom line? I think not.