“Our standard is giving more than what is expected.”

At TLC, our standard is giving more than what is expected, and we constantly challenge each other to give more and serve at a higher level. It’s always awesome to be part of discussions with the excellent TLC staff and get their input on providing a little more and doing a little extra for everyone.

I love being part of the TLC experience for this very fact, because giving people more than what they expect feels so good! It makes me happy and eager to do it again and again. Over the years, as a team, we have done some fantastic things that I am very proud of.

I am not sure if it is relevant, but I have always been taught to give more than what is expected from a young age; maybe that is a small part of why it became one of the core values here at TLC. Here is what I learned at a young age from my father.

Growing up Italian had its perks for sure, but one thing that annoyed me as a young kid is that my parents would always make us go with them to visit their friends on a Friday or Saturday night. They did not believe in babysitters, so that they would bring us with them. The problem with this was that for whatever reason, once we got there, we were not allowed to make noise, ask for food or snacks or even watch TV sometimes. We were expected to sit in another room and be quiet until it was time to go.

Some of that was a part of the era when adults would say, “Children should be seen and not heard,” but part of it was also our Italian culture. If kids misbehave, it was a bad reflection on the parents, so we were expected to be quiet and still, which we always did.

One thing that I also remember about those visits is what my dad used to sometimes say to my mother before we would leave. He would say, “Do we have at least two things to bring over there?” Also, he would occasionally say, “Remember we have to knock with our feet when we get there.”

When I was young and maybe ten years old, I never really understood what that meant until I asked my dad to explain. He went on to tell me what he meant and something that has stuck with me to this day.

My father explained that if you were invited over someone’s house, your hands should be full of gifts which would force you to knock on the door with your feet, which sounds better in Italian. He would remind me that everyone brings a bottle of wine or a dessert, but we bring both, or we bring something extra but always at least two things. He would say everyone gets one thing; we get at least two because that’s what Licari’s do!

I guess this was my father’s way of giving more than what was expected, and he made it a point to instill it in me at a young age and continually remind me as I got older. To this day, it is more of a habit for me than anything. If I get invited somewhere, I always remember what my dad taught me and always get a little anxious until I find at least two nice things to bring. I guess my father taught me to give more than what is expected, and I did not even realize it.

When I am invited somewhere now, I get reminded when I get greeted by the host, and it usually sounds like this, “You didn’t have to bring anything; your company is enough.” That is always just a reminder that they only expected me, so I gave them more than expected. It always makes me smile when I remember this and think of Dad.

I am so grateful that I learned this lesson and still practice it today in my personal life but even more thankful that I get to practice it every day with all of you at TLC. Every day is just fantastic as we find more and more ways to keep giving. Prizes, recognition, events, birthday cash, the list goes on and on, and still, we are never satisfied. Sometimes it is Jack Fallon who will ask, “What else can we do?” Sometimes, it is someone relatively new to our team that will ask. Everyone here is always looking to give, and it’s beautiful to see.

Some may think, “I don’t have much to give, I don’t know if I can do this,” but I am here to remind you that you can give so many things that cost little or no money. You can bake cookies, help someone with their homework, let someone borrow your car, hold a door open for them, help them laugh or smile, and many other things. The key is to ask yourself, “What else can I do, what can I give, and how can I help?”

If you ask yourself this every day in every situation, I am sure you will find that the lives of people around you will improve and so will yours. Try it this week, and I promise you that your mood and your health will improve, and the world will be a better place with all the giving you do. It helps remind others that the human spirit is still alive and well and love still exists!

If you have a way that you think we can give more than what is expected as an organization, or if you have an idea how I can personally give more than what is expected, please reach out to me and let me know because that’s my goal every day!

Thank you for reading and thank you for allowing me to serve you all each day. Until next week may God bless you, help you find peace and happiness in your life, and help you come up with creative ways to give more!

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