"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."- Matthews 7:12.
Loxie Rael, a clerk in the Orangeburg County Probate Court office, uses that Bible verse as a guide to the service she provides in the probate office.
She believes in the Golden Rule, or treating others as she would like to be treated.
Whether it's helping with marriage licenses, the sale and disposition of estate property, or the commitment of the mentally ill, her work involves treating all individuals with concern and care.
Making everyone feel important and treating them with dignity in the happiest and saddest of times while maintaining her professionalism and a pleasant demeanor is something the Cope resident takes seriously.
It is her recognition of the worth of others that has earned her designation as the example of respect as part of the Orangeburg County Community of Character initiative.
It was an honor which caught her by surprise.
"I was really in shock. I had no idea. I was very surprised, but it's just really an honor," she said.
Rael has worked in the Orangeburg County Probate Court office for 28 years under four different probate court judges. She began her 31-year career with the county in 1985, serving her first three years as a warrants clerk and then civil clerk in the Central Region Magistrate Office.
She said treating others with respect is not hard for her to do.
"That's just the Golden Rule. God says to do unto others as you would like to have them do unto you. As a Christian, I feel like we should be servants. We're called to be servants like Jesus to help others, to be kind and courteous to others and to treat each other equally whether you're rich or poor," Rael said.
She said people from all walks of life come into her office daily, and each one deserves the same amount of time and attention.
"We see people at their happiest times with getting marriage licenses. We see them as they lose loved ones, so there can be some trying times, too, where they're hurting. Sometimes we see disputes. Some of them are with families, where there's anger involved," Rael said.
"Everybody doesn't have a good day all the time, so we just try to be respectful of others’ feelings and try to treat them with courtesy, kindness and respect," she said.
Every day brings something different, Rael said. Through it all, she relies on her faith to get her through each one.
"As a Christian, I feel like we need to take up our cross daily, and I pray to God each day to help me with my work aspects and characteristics to help others each day," she said. Rael tries to carry a respectful attitude back home, too.
She and her husband of 28 years, Richard, are the parents of one daughter, Krysten, 24. Their son, Leighton, died in 2006
"I pray every day for God to guide me through each day and have me treat others well within my family. I want for everyone to get along well with one another and respect each other's boundaries," she said. "We're all human and make mistakes, but we love each other regardless."
The daughter of the late Charles and Helen Love, Rael has one sister, Debra Love Fralix. Their brother, Ricky, died in 2006.
Rael said her parents were good mentors.
"I dearly miss them, too. I came from a loving Christian home, and they taught us good traits in life," Rael said. She worked to instill good character in her own children.
"I tried to instill them with good morals, the same thing I grew up with. Be kind to others, love the Lord and practice honesty, integrity -- all the Beatitudes that Jesus tells us about," she said.
Rael also heaped praise on the Community of Character initiative and its efforts to spread and recognize good character within the community.
"I think it is a blessing. Everybody should win this award at one time or another because now it's made me more aware. Now I really feel that I have to show respect. I'm making an extra effort, so it's keeping me on track," she said, smiling.
"It's a good feeling to be honored. I think everybody should experience it. We need that in our community."
Probate clerk guided by Golden Rule
September 29, 2016 Times and Democrat article (reprinted with permission)
Article by DIONNE GLEATON T&D Staff Writer
Photo by LARRY HARDY T&D