How a Basketball Player Reminded Me Why I Love My Job

I love a good sports movie.  I like to see the underdog rise to the top and as the music begins to crescendo, we see the team shoot the winning basket, score the final touchdown, kick the goal to take the championship as fans rise in sheer joy at the remarkable story they have witnessed.  The best stories include struggle and determination.  A Mother, Coach or Father sacrificing to see the person they love and believe in make it to the top.  When Kevin Durant, star player with the Oklahoma City Thunder, delivered his acceptance speech when receiving the honor of NBA MVP, he described the challenges of his life and all that lead him to this day. The speech could be a script for a movie that I would pay money to see.

By the time he got to the 22nd minute of his speech, I was on my third tissue! The best message was yet to come…Kevin thanked his Mother and described one of his best memories as a child.  His Mother was a young single women raising two young boys.  She gave up her meals to make certain her children were fed. She worked to keep them off the street and instill a strong sense of family.  And, when they sat in the living room of their first apartment, empty because they had no furniture, that apartment made this young family feel as though they “made it”.

I clipped this portion of the speech to share with you:

I want to thank Kevin Durant for reminding me what I love best about my work.  I love connecting people with home.  I was reminded power of this experience.  It is a old, tired saying and yet it means so much, Home is Where The Heart Is.  And on a day when I questioned the value of all that I have done and built in my career, Mr. Durant reminded me of my purpose.

Initially, I posted this on my Facebook wall thinking that others in our business may be having a difficult day like me, and would find their purpose renewed by reading his quote.  I was touched to see, in a matter of a few hours, 200 people clicking “like” as a personal affirmation that even an empty apartment can change someone’s life and that we are honored to create exceptional communities for a living.  As the post was shared, 29 times and counting, it seems that everyone needed the sweet reminder that our work matters more than we will ever know.