Something happened the other day that blew me away. I received an email from a person who I have sustained correspondence with over several years as he is the author of one of my favorite books. Fundamentally, the book is about leveraging the wisdom of those of us who have been around a few years (55+) to ensure we continue to live a full and meaningful life.
I have given many copies of the book away and each recipient has told me how inspiring and helpful it has been to them. Now this could be frustrating but, if I reveal the name of the book, the author will be known and that would dishonor the privacy in which the email was sent to me. Hopefully, you will understand why as this story continues.
One of my new year’s resolutions was to be better at practicing what I preach. A manifestation of that commitment was to acknowledge more consistently in writing, or verbally, people who are, or have, impacted my life in a positive way. Knowing them personally was not a requirement as the internet provides us with the means to get in touch with most people.
My purpose was to acknowledge their efforts and reassure them that they were clearly making a difference in the world. I have been taken aback by how much this effort has been appreciated. I am also now convinced more than ever that there is a palpable lack of positive recognition between all of us. In fact, there is a famine, not of food, but of compliments.
So back to the email I mentioned in my opening paragraph. It read: “Hi David, What a delight to receive such nice words. I’ve been a bit ‘lost’ lately and it really helps to know that I have been of benefit to people. It’s easy to forget.”
How can this person be ‘lost’ I thought? Doesn’t he have all the answers? After all, I read his wisdom ever morning. Of course, I know from my own experience that none of us escapes the storms of life, or even the doldrums where nothing seems to be happening. We wander about not sure if we are going in the right direction or if what we do has any significance or matters.
But then unexpectedly, words of encouragement, or appreciation, or acknowledgement, or caring, or compassion, or gratitude are expressed by another and aimed at us. Our spirits soar; we sense we are truly valued, that our contribution is important. Life looks good again and our path begins to unfold. Once more our purpose – why we are here – becomes clear.
Who, in your life, deserves to be acknowledged, thanked or recognized? Reach out today and let them know how much you appreciate who they are and what they do. Experience what it means not only to them but to you.
“Often we set out to make a difference in the lives of others, only to discover we have made a difference to our own.” – Ellie Braun-Haley
Breaking News: I just received permission from the author to reveal his name and the book: The Sages Tao Ti Ching by William Martin.
Thank you Bill – your authenticity is remarkable.