Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Feeling Valued

Two of my friends were in Spain last week attending a week long meeting. Both of them emailed me and shared information of which I have a vested interest. The important thing for me was not so much the information they shared as much as the fact they thought of me and took the time to email me. I've got to be honest. I like it when people think of me. The world is full of people who need me or want something from me. People like this often chase us through life. Sometimes people email me as a response to my daily thoughts. Some of them are apologetic, as though it was a bother to me. It is not a bother. I love to hear from people who have been touched by something I've written. I love it when the unexpected instant message from a friend pops up on my computer asking how I am or wondering if I would like to go to lunch. Occasionally, although it is getting increasingly rare in these modern times, I will get home at the end of the day and find a letter or a postcard from a friend. I have a friend who is a monk in Georgia and he has surprised me more than once with the gift of a book or some interesting article. It's nice to be appreciated and occasionally missed. I'm sure most of you at one time or another have felt like you do all the work in your relationships. You call someone and they are thrilled to hear from you but they would have never initiated a call to you. You send them an email or write them a letter and they always respond but they never would have initiated the contact. Perhaps I am just voicing a personal need but I think I am not alone when I say I feel valued if sometimes other people reach out to me. I like to believe that I am important enough in some people's life that they will also do a little work in the relationship. There's an old saying, "If you need or want friend, be a friend". If you want to be appreciated, show appreciation. If you want to feel valued, show others they are valued in your life. If you want to be thought about, then think about others. Basically, as with many things, we must show the kind of behavior we want to see in others. Of course this concept works for all kinds of relationships and I am far from being a perfect example of someone who always does it well but I do try.

I once received an email from someone asking if I would add them to my daily thoughts list. They told me that someone forwarded my thoughts to them and that my writing reminded them of the author Robert Fulghum. I considered this a great compliment because I really like Robert Fulghum and have most of his books. He wrote a wonderful little book called All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. The book is uncommon thoughts on common things. Here are the basics of his book. This advice will serve you well in life. The author discovered that wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain but there in the sand pile at Sunday school.

Share everything,
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you are sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life...learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon. (My personal favorite)
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

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