Why Wait Until It's Too Late

Sunday, October 09, 2011

This past week Steve Jobs died; may his soul rest in peace. The newspapers were filled with stories about his accomplishments, and excerpts from a commencement speech he had given earlier was shared by many, and touted as a way to live life. As I read about this visionary who died at such a very young age, it occurred to me that we do have a habit of waiting until someone dies to speak our highest praises of them. We rarely recognize or acknowledge good people in our midst while they are still with us. As a matter of fact, we seem to focus more on their faults or shortcomings until they die, and then suddenly we switch to their good works. This is not new, it dates back to biblical times. Think about how many followed Jesus after he was crucified. So this is what I propose:

1. Tell the people you care about how you feel about them while they are still with you.
2. Acknowledge the good in them and praise them accordingly.
3. Recognize things they might have difficulty dealing with and be gentle if criticism seems to be necessary.
4. See the beauty in your own life; you may not be where you want to be, but as long as there is life there is hope.
5. Keep a gratitude journal and find something to be thankful for each day.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and you can personalize it or change it as you see fit. Just remember to be grateful, to be supportive, to be kind, and to be encouraging. Realize that everyone has a story, and it's as important to them, as yours is to you. So the next time you see a friend or a family member, or even a stranger, take the opportunity to show them love and appreciation. It will be more beneficial to them if they can hear it while they still can.

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