Spotlight: Thank you for tuning into the broadcast system of Thelma Hairston

e·mo·tion·al in·tel·li·gence (noun)

the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who better exemplifies emotional intelligence than Thelma Hairston. Thelma has been in insurance for 18 years, starting in May of 2000 at Durfee-Buffinton, and currently works on FBinsure’s renewal team.

Given Thelma’s likely high EQ (think like IQ but with emotional intelligence, yes, that’s a real thing) what she likes most about her job is customer service and being able to help people. Like many people, she didn’t seek out the insurance profession, she fell into it. While insurance can seem intimidating because of the ambiguity, Thelma didn’t let the fact that she didn’t know insurance get to her. Her perspective is that insurance really boils down to customer service “if you can talk to people, and listen, you can figure it out.” There’s that high EQ kicking in.

Thelma’s favorite movie of all time is the Matrix because she believes we all have a purpose and “find your purpose” would be her best quote.

Thelma feels that her purpose is to help people, give them hope, and to be a beacon of positivity. Her outlook is “If you have a pulse, you’re having a good day” and encourages people to appreciate what they have. She says to practice humility by not looking inward on yourself and your problems but instead try looking outward on how you can help people. By looking at the world around you and seeking out that deep connection on how to help others, you will in turn become more grateful.

The last thing she watched on television was “Black Hawk Down.” To Thelma, life is about team work, no matter the circumstances. If we are in it—then we are in it together. “You find your strength and you find your weakness, but you find so much more when you’re put to a test amongst your peers and if we are all pulling in the same direction, we will succeed,” she says.

Thelma loves gospel music because it keeps her centered spiritually and soothes her soul. She also enjoys music from the 80’s and 90’s, it reminds her of her past and happy times. She enjoys singing, music has a powerful way of evoking emotion in people and can help people live in a happy moment. Amazingly, if you outright ask her the name of a song she will have no clue what it is, but, play the song and she could probably sing the entire song. It’s just about the music and how it makes us feel.

The wisest thing anyone has ever told Thelma was “Your word is all you have in life, keep your word.” And, of course, her mom saying, “Pick your feet up. Don’t drag your feet. Be proud you have feet.” She credits her upbringing with instilling her positive outlook on life.

Thelma is known for her encouragement. She often tries to help people find the positive things in their life, and in the day. “I love to see people smile,” she says.

If she were to do something other than insurance, she would like to be an inspirational speaker, and she seems like she would be a good one. Always one to keep a positive open mind, Thelma doesn’t wait for her career to shift in order to help inspire others. She’s often on the look-out for when opportunities come across her path, like at a supermarket, a gas station, or a coffee shop, and when the moment presents itself, she tries to give people something different to look at that is positive about a given situation.

Thelma is devout in her religion, feeling inspired by the life of Christ. If she could travel anywhere, she would travel to Egypt to be in the place where Jesus was. She is also inspired by children being children when they enjoy being with each other, and being happy. Children have a free-like spirit and it is peaceful.

As we become adults, life gets in the way, and emphasis on stuff and things can steal away our happiness and free-spirit. Media projects a box of what we feel we should put ourselves in, (what our body should look like, what our social status should be, what our house should look like, etc) Trying to put ourselves in someone else’s box can cause us to be unhappy with what makes each of us unique. Instead, she says, “Seek what makes you happy, find your calling, and walk in your gift.”

Thelma’s pet peeves are people not caring about the earth we live on and not caring about others, such as people not holding a door for an elderly person or offering to help. She understands we have to be careful in life, but it shouldn’t stop us from caring for each other and giving of ourselves to make someone else happy. She says, “Be happy we have life, we have the opportunity to be kind to someone today.”

“Thank you for tuning into the broadcast system of Thelma Hairston- you are now exiting the twilight zone—andddd smile”