"If you show them love, they'll run their hearts out for you," so shared an unlikely horse expert. Unlikely only because I wasn't expecting one of the banquet servers to tell me about the horse track.
Charles, as his name badge stated, an older gentleman, was an experienced hand at banquet serving as I soon learned from our pre-seating conversation. I was early to the event and drifted to my favorite side of the hotel ballroom for the main keynote luncheon and address. Charles approached, told me that the table I had selected wasn't "his," but he'd be glad to welcome me and get anything I needed.
So we enjoyed some get-acquainted conversation. Charles had been working banquets for the past 23 years, and while he enjoyed that, his first love was grooming and training horses.
"I'm involved with harness racing and have worked at three different stables over my lifetime," he said proudly.
Revealing my entire knowledge of harness racing in one sentence, I chipped into the conversation by saying, "And that means pacers or trotters, right?"
"Ooo-eee, ma'am, that's right," he responded.
On a roll now I continued, "It's amazing how they can train the pacers for that particular gait. It seems so unnatural."
That's when Charles shared that if you love the horses, they'll do anything for you. He's so right. That applies to many things. To life. To ourselves. A little love can spur you to do anything.
[Nancy Linenkugel is a Sylvania Franciscan sister and chair of the department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University, Cincinnati.]
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