“What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?”
That’s a common question we ask in our conversations for Faces in the Crowd. And with each response, we learn something new.
With 2022 and our new year’s resolutions now upon us, we look back at some of the best advice our interviewees had to offer in 2021.
Troy Finstrom (1/15/21): “My Grandma VanderPol always used to say, ‘Idle hands are the work of the devil.’ Keep yourself busy. Keep going, and as long as you have a breathe left in your body, you have something to give.”
Dawn Rozeveld (1/22/21): [Advice for teachers] “Enjoy the kids – that’s the best part of the job. If you can enjoy them, you can [deal with the other stuff.] I try to always look more at the positive side of stuff. Why am I doing this? I’m doing it for the kids, and not, ‘Oh my gosh, I have all this paperwork to do.’”
Zach Deruiter (1/29/21): “No matter what, there’s always a future. God always has a plan, and he’s always in control.”
Tony Maddox (2/26/21): “Sticktuitiveness. It’s a poem. ‘It’s easy to sit when the going gets tough. It’s easy to stop when you’re half way there and ready to drop, but don’t you dare.’ The main thing is, ‘stick to the task until it is done. A quitter will ask you to call his fun. When there’s difficult work you’re supposed to do, don’t stop or shirk, but see it through.’ That has gotten me through the difficult stuff. Hey, it’s got to be done.”
Frances Maddox (2/26/21): “Lou Holtz, the [former] football coach from Notre Dame has a saying: ‘I think that everybody needs four things in life. Everybody needs something to do regardless of age. Everybody needs someone to love. Everybody needs something to hope for, and of course, everybody needs someone to believe in.’”
Samantha Wetherell (3/19/21): “If you do what you love, it will never seem like a job. I’m sure that’s somebody’s quote, but it’s true.”
Jim White (3/26/21): “My dad probably gave me the best advice: Always treat people like you want to be treated, and always treat people the same. No matter how much money they’ve got or anything else. If you treat people with kindness and consideration and work to benefit their lives, without thinking about what it’s going to do for you, or profitability-wise, then you’ll be a lot better off. And I believe it.”
Morgan Bruce (4/9/21): “But the best advice that I got was to just take a breather and look at your surroundings. Don’t freak out – that will make things ten times worse. And just be yourself, don’t try to impress anybody.”
Dale Fredin (4/16/21): “My dad always told me to treat people with respect. No matter who they are; whether you like ‘em or you don’t. He said you’re not better than they are, and they’re not better than you are. And when you get a job, be there early and give them a fair day’s work. And that’s always worked for me.”
Rodney Leary (4/30/21): “You’ve gotta work hard for the things you want.”
Spencer Witbeck (5/15/21): “I like what Rodney [Leary, high school teammate] said: ‘You’ve gotta work for what you want.’ Nothing’s going to be handed to you. I like that. That’s good advice.”
Cody Alberts (5/21/21): “Most of the time, when you feel at your lowest, there’s stuff inside yourself that’s working positive for you – and you might not even know it. No matter how low you might feel, don’t allow yourself to quit looking at the good things. Don’t let yourself get into the mindset that there’s only one way to go; there’s a lot of opportunities, you’ve just got to be able to open your eyes and find them.”
Kendal Kiger (5/28/21): “Just keep going.”
Jason Kiger (5/28/21): “Never give up on each other.”
Bonnie Kiger (5/28/21): “When you have something that you love, don’t take it for granted, because you never know when it’s going to be taken from you. And you don’t realize how much you love something until it’s gone.”
Brian McKee (6/4/21): “Don’t quit a job until you have another one. My dad’s told me that over and over.”
David Maneke (6/18/21): “I had an old ex-Amish friend who gave me a lot of advice on running the business. My dad gave me a lot of good advice to be successful too. I can’t really say that there’s one specific thing. I’ve had a lot of advice over the years, but I’m 34 years old and I’m still learning new things all the time. You take a little bit of what one person says, and a little bit of what another person says, and you tie it all together.”
Lillian VanPolen (7/2/21): “Basically, just learning to accept it for what it is. And letting things go. There’s a lot of unearned guilt that people take on as their own guilt, that they don’t need to accept. I think people struggle with that for a long time, and they don’t realize that they need to accept, forgive, and let it go. In reality, no matter how much you want something, it’s not our plan – it’s God’s plan. And it’s all going to work out someway, somehow. It may suck right now, but a new door will open, for sure.”
Alex Charette (8/6/21): “Don’t give up.”
Kay Charette (8/6/21): “Yeah, don’t give up. And you’re never too old to learn something new.”
Marcus Mead (8/13/21): “I would encourage anybody – whatever their walk of life – to find something that they love doing and to pursue that passion. It makes coming to work so much easier when you love what you do. I’d also encourage other people to consider how they might use their life to make a difference for others – and you don’t have to be an educator to do that. Looking for opportunities to – in Christian terms – to minister to other people; to help meet needs; to learn from other people and help them along. All of us, as we go through life, there are going to be times where we need the support of others. Whatever the challenge is, we’re not going to be able to do it alone. I don’t believe that God intended for us to go through life alone. Finding opportunities to be that difference in someone else’s life, I think is one of the most rewarding things that we can do.”
David Wissner (8/20/21): “The first thing that comes to mind is ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff.’ I can remember my Grandpa Davis saying that to me. He’d say, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff, Dave.’ I was definitely one to sweat the small stuff when I was younger. But as I get older, and I realize that I don’t always have control over everything, I can only control so much, and not everyone is going to like what you say or do… you just can’t sweat it all. You just do the best you can, and put one foot forward and move on to the next thing.”
Harry Martin (9/10/21): “You never know everything. There’s always something to learn. And learn from mistakes that other people make, make sure you don’t do it.”
Karolyn Martin (9/10/21): “And if you’ve made a mistake, just clear it up, go work it out, and just do better. That’s all you can do.”
Nicole Sigafoose (9/24/21): “I think that my faith in God is what gets us through, every single day.”
Lena Reed (10/1/21): “Enjoy the little things in life. That’s been one of my biggest things. The biggest/littlest thing is watching my son grow up and being able to be there for my stepdaughter’s sports. And now my son is a football player this year, so just watching them. Enjoying the little things in life, for sure.”
Bev Orvis (10/15/21): “It’s just work ethic. Nothing’s free, you’ve got to work for it.”
John Orvis (10/15/21): “That’s all we’ve ever done is work. A lot of times, when I used to work at Rubber and Plastics up on the trap line, and a lot of times I wouldn’t get to bed until midnight. I used to do a lot of custom work at one time, and a lot of times after work I’d go drill, or combine.”
Bev: [Advice on Marriage] Work together.
John: Just do what she says.
Dean-O Armstrong (10/29/21): “I would say – and I’m sure it’s been said a lot – not to worry about the things that you can’t control. I definitely don’t do that. I don’t put additional stress on myself. Things are going to happen: good stuff happens, bad stuff happens, and you just kind of roll with it. I don’t worry about whether I’ve got the money for something: If I want to go on a trip, if I’ve got the money I do it; if I don’t, I don’t. One of the things I always say: I do the things I have to do to be able to do the things that I want to do. And that works for me.”
Brad Fall (11/12/21): “Something I think about often: “What you think about, you bring about.” For me, it’s gone a lot deeper than just that, but setting goals and expectations for yourself, and staying on track with those things will take you places. Work ethic – the things that you’re willing to do to get to where you want to be. I think it also helps you keep priorities in check, and what’s really important to you. I think everybody’s idea of success can be different; it’s not always monetary. Success for me is having freedom to be able to enjoy friends and family, and being able to be financially stable in a place where I can do that, and not have to stress about things. “What you think about, you bring about” – and staying true to that.
Mel Burdine (12/3/21): “There’s nothing a person can’t do if they set their mind to it. With enough will and determination, you can do anything you want in life, truly. A lot of people seem to get stuck in a rut or a hole, and the thing is, if you allow yourself to stay there, you will. But if you put your mind to it, you can pull yourself out of anything.”
Darla Dennis (12/10/21): “Everything happens for a reason. Might not be the easy way, but everything happens for a reason.”
Derek Dennis (12/10/21): “In business, the day that I think I’m the smartest guy in the room is the day that my company is going to fail. If I’m not willing to listen to the people who are actually doing the work every day, I’m a fool.”
Robin Mosher (12/24/21): “The biggest thing is that we need to be open to the kindness of others, and be willing to recognize what we can do for other people, and what they can do for us if we just open our eyes and see. And to be kind to people. I have found, working for [CARELINC] that you don’t know what kind of challenges other people are facing… So just be kind.”
“What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?”