Talk about your silent treatment – would you be able to exist in almost total silence if it meant experiencing one of the most life changing moments you’ve ever had?
Mario Gutierrez, an Assistant Superintendent for Straub Construction, did just that when he went on a missionary trip to France.
“I didn’t want to go, in fact, up until I boarded the plane, I almost began kicking and screaming”, Mario jokes. “But at the insistence of my wife and her deep belief in me and our faith, I knew I had to go.”
Mario says that the journey began when his wife of 21 years told him about a dream she had about him going on a trip. His family are devout Catholics and belong to All Saints Parish in Kansas City, Kansas. In addition, they are active in the Community of the Lamb through which missionary trips are supported.
Upon reaching St. Pierre France, Mario says his hesitancy gave way to feelings of love and appreciation for others.
“I was in a place of strangers where I didn’t know anyone, and no one knew me, but they accepted me with open arms and made me feel a sense of community, love and grace.”
Mario’s mountain retreat was a 6×10 room, hosted by monks. Most of his time was spent in silence with his thoughts and prayers.
“I know I couldn’t have done this without the support of the Straub Construction family. That sense of community that I felt up on the mountain is the same way I feel about the company. I realized that the way the company takes care of me and treats me is the same way they treated me on the mountain in France.”
Using words like honesty, work ethic and accountability – all words that make up of Straub Construction’s Core Values – Mario says he took away from the experience a better sense of how to put these words into action and he realized it starts with him.
“Those two weeks on that mountain in almost complete silence moved me to appreciate treating people right and doing things right because we are all here by the grace and love of God. It’s shared with family, friends and coworkers and how I do my job for our clients. I think we complain and forget that idea, but [my time on] the mountain helped show me that again. In the busy world we live in today, with all of the distractions and interruptions, we seldom have the opportunity to reflect in silence. This experience made me realize how important it is to take the opportunity to be silent.”