Painting and Decorating Made Easier!


Over the years, our family has planted seeds that thrived and blessed the earth, the people, and the communities in which we’ve been planted. We’ve planted our share of seeds that grew less hardy. We’ve even planted a few seeds that withered, and died.


We’ve tried to live by this message:


Plant good seeds wherever you are planted. Wherever you find yourself at the time.


Questioning my own contributions…

In early 2013, I took a few more intense looks at the value and hardiness of the seeds that were being planted at the hotel. Including by me! I paid closer attention to life at the hotel.


Every staff member had been struggling increasingly. The entire hotel family tried its best to manage the challenges of working under an ever-tightening budget, personnel cutbacks, external mandates, etc. (An on-going, common challenge with many hospitality businesses.)


We struggled with serving our guests well. With supporting each other – and our hotel family – to the best of our abilities, and limits. We tried to do our respective jobs confidently, effectively, and safely. And, do our respective parts to protect, preserve, and promote the hotel.


For over a month, I asked myself questions like:


  1. What contributions can I make to help my teammates’ lives be better?
  2. How can I improve my way of doing things to make the hotel a great place to work? A great place to stay? What needed changes can I make?
  3. Where do I fit here? How do I fit? Do I still fit here?
  4. Do I still fit here?


Key answers came from a former staff member. A great workplace “seed-planter!”


Planting Seeds with 850 other “Seed-Planters.”


In a speech recently, my mother encouraged conference attendees to plant seeds wherever they’ve been planted. To carefully select the kinds of seeds to plant. To properly plant them. And, to “tend” to them they grow.


She talked about the yields expected, by others and ourselves. She talked about the yields that can be reaped from crops grown from healthy seeds. Even the smallest, most fragile ones.


She reflected on the agricultural and humanitarian roots of every family. She offered a simple explanation of how a seed is planted, and its value to the whole.


“One seed is planted one time. Each seed is planted in its own tiny space. Even when that tiny space is shared with other seeds planted in very close proximity. Every seed is precious, and of immense worth in its own way. Leaving behind essential benefits – nutrients – for the soil, the people, and the community.”


Most of the 850 attendees sat alert and listened. A few persons texted on their smartphones, held low in their laps. Very few dozed.


Planting Seeds in the Workplace


Everyone eyed the large screen ahead, when my mother started showing how seeds grow in the world of the workplace.


“Daily, each of us plants seeds that impact the world. Far beyond the tiny space that we take up, in doing our jobs. We may or may not realize how we pollinate the seeds that others will plant next. Wherever they will have been planted. Seeds that will produce crops that still others will harvest. Passing on benefits to even more people and more communities.”


Near the end of the 30-minute speech, the photo of a large field of luscious-looking Big Boy Tomatoes appeared on the screen. And, the following:


“A few questions:

  1. At the end of the day, are we supposed to know if and how those seeds, that we have planted, will benefit others?
  2. Isn’t it enough to know that we have planted the best seeds available to us?
  3. Isn’t it enough to know that we have planted them carefully and caringly? And, that we have tended and nurtured them just as conscientiously?”

A True Story…


Shortly after my mother’s third birthday, her mother (my grandmother) showed how to drop tiny Pine, Evergreen and Blue Spruce seeds into soil-filled, wooden flats in the greenhouse. A few months later, Grandma transplanted each seedling into a huge truck patch behind their Sears farm house.


On a lumpy little pillow, my mother would sit on the moist earth. Helping her mother plant, by laying one seedling at a time near the shallowly dug trench. Quickly, she learned the difference between a Christmas tree seedling, and a weed.


A few weeks after that lesson, Grandma led her to the garden patch of young seedlings. And, Grandma taught my mother about patience.


“She taught me how to weed. Slowly and carefully. With each 3-to-4 inch growth I touched, your grandma let me know if I’d selected a weed, or a tree seedling.


“If she tipped her head and rolled her eyes, it meant that I’d made a good choice: a weed. If she tipped her head to one side it meant I might want to reconsider. It was a tree seedling.


About Planting Seeds…


Planting seeds where we are planted tends to require much more than our immediate attention, patience and “learnedness.” It requires our enduring presence!


It requires us to return to the “truck patch” – and tend to those good seeds, or seedlings, that we planted carefully and conscientiously. It requires us to help others to do the same.


The process of growing tiny seeds into a healthy, bumper crop takes “a feel for the land,” my grandfather used to say. Lots of ingenuity, energy, courage, and persistence. To harvest that crop requires knowledge, common sense, and timeliness. To reap the real benefits of that crop requires us to spread them around to others first.


“The Fine Art” of Planting Good Seeds


A year before my grandfather died, he talked about the “fine art” of planting good seeds. He referred to his country retirement home in southern Indiana.


“It was the garden,” he said, that kept him “grounded.” Tilling the soil and deciding what to grow. Planting the seeds where they would get the nutrients, sun, and drainage they needed. Fertilizing, watering, and weeding. Then deciding when to harvest which crop, and so on.


Grandpa emphasized: “It’s very fulfilling to see the seeds you planted grow into a harvest and benefit others. Then propagate into more seeds, more crops, more harvests.”


Planting Seeds at Work


“The same could be said about work,” I told a former teammate recently. “Sometimes, we must opt for the more difficult individual choice. To protect the many good seeds planted already at the hotel. By others and by me. And, to protect the great staff members that had been doing their best to plant good seeds, too.”



As the hotel workplace changes, so do the seeds planted by team members that work there.

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: