The theme of S-T-R-E-T-C-H clearly is an attitude that comes naturally and is not put on. It means putting yourself out to help others, irrespective of the immediate gains or losses. The results speak for themselves.
Many years ago an elderly lady was strolling through a Pittsburgh department store, obviously killing time. She passed counter after counter without anyone paying any attention to her. All of the clerks had spotted her as an idle “looker” who had no intention of buying. They made it a point of looking in another direction when she stopped at their counters.
What costly business this neglect turned out to be! Finally the lady came to a counter that was attended by a young clerk who bowed politely and asked if he might serve her.
“No” she replied, “I am just killing time, waiting for the rain to stop so I can go home”. “Very well Madam” the young man smiled, “may I bring out a chair for you”, and he brought it without waiting for her answer. After the rain stopped, the young man took the lady by the arm, escorted her to the street and bade her good-bye. As she left she asked him for his card.
Several months later the owner of the store received a letter, asking that this young man be sent to Scotland to take an order for the furnishings of a home. The owner of the store wrote back that he was sorry, but the young man did not work the home furnishings department, however, he explained that he would be glad to send an “experienced man” to do his job.
Back came a reply that no one would do except this particular young man. The letter was signed by Andrew Carnegie* and the house he wanted furnished was Skibo Castle in Scotland. The elderly lady was Mr. Carnegie’s mother. The young man was sent to Scotland and he received an order for several hundred thousand dollars worth of household furnishings. He later became the owner of half interest in the store.
Certainly it pays to go the extra mile.
* Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish American industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century.