Marriage counseling? Cathy believes a stable home is fundamental to bringing up stable children. For those children damaged by broken family ties, Cathy's foundation operates a dozen homes headed by husband-wife teams. The goal is "to provide a loving, nurturing home to those children who are victims of circumstances and need a stable, secure family environment in which to grow and mature." The homes accept boys and girls between the ages of six and 13. They can accommodate as many as 12 children at a time. He is currently a "grandfather" to 150 of them. For 51 years, Cathy taught a Sunday school class made up of 13-year-old boys.
In an age when business functions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Cathy is a throwback to the blue laws era. None of his restaurants is open on Sunday. Cathy thinks this provides his employees with a biblical "day of rest" that is good for them.
While too many customers at retail and food establishments often complain about indifferent employees, Cathy is a stickler for kindness. He insists his employees demonstrate respect for customers and show appreciation for their patronage because it is good for business. "It doesn't cost you any more to be gracious in a service industry, but it sure pays great dividends," he told Philanthropy.
If more people knew the pleasure derived from giving for the purpose of changing lives perhaps those ineffective government programs so many conservatives complain about could be dismantled.
S. Truett Cathy has found that true wealth is not in possessions, but in giving. This not only benefits individuals, but ultimately society. Rather than build a personal empire, he is storing up treasures. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19). In a day when the stock market is unpredictable, Cathy's investments in people will pay dividends long into the future.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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