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Third Secret

I am loving this series by Dr John Izzo called ‘The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die’.   In the research he interviewed over 200 people between the ages of 60 and 106 who were identified by friends and acquaintances as “the one person they knew who had found happiness and meaning.”  It has been on TV and is in book form.  I am watching the DVD version in the evenings and I am just loving it.  What he says is so positive, hopeful and important. 

  1. The first secret is ‘Reflect More’
  2. The second secret is ‘Risk More’
  3. The third secret is ‘Love More’. 

At first glance I thought this one was kind of a given.  Love is a choice, relationships are the most important, and no one cares what their bank account looks like when they die.  He pushed it farther and really made me think.

He talked about ‘loving’ the people we say we love the most.  He talked about a study of positive and negative communication.  They found that negative communication was by far the highest in the home at a ratio of 14 to 1.  Work was better with a negative to positive ratio of 8 to 1.  …. somehow, as a society we treat people at work better than we treat our own families. 

I would love to be suprised at this but I know it is probably that way in my home.  I have heard you need one positive coment for every negative (or correcting) coment.  That is crazy hard.  I spend my whole day saying “Please do your school work.” “Get your hand out of your mouth.” “Stop fighting.” “Not now.” “Stop.” “Go”. “Finish your food.” “Why are your cloths/toys/books on the floor?”   ….. over and over again.  All the “Good jobs!” and “Thank-yous” are there…. but at a very distant second.  I want/need to work on this a bunch and the reminder was great. 

He talked about how people don’t remember what someone says or what they do as much as they remember what they feel when a person walks into the room.  When I walk in the room are people happy?  does the I add peace and joy? or do I bring dread or anger?  I wish I knew, and I want to do better.

He had two questions:

1.  All day long did I choose to be loving to myself, people I say I love the most?
2.  Did I act today as if I would meet one person for whom I could make the biggest difference?

He spoke of a woman who was at a viewing for her mother who had passed away.  In the corner was a lady that no one recognized.  Finally she went over and asked the lady how she had known her mother.  She said that she hadn’t known her.  Several years before they had shared a seat on a bus.  The mother was reading a novel and half way through the ride looked at the lady and said “You look like someone who needs to talk”.  Turns out the lady sitting beside her was planning on taking her life when she got home because things were so bad, but through the conversation decided not to because of the mother and her kindness.   It was only the three days before when the death anouncement had run in the paper with the mothers picture that the lady had learned who she was and she was there because of the kindness and difference that 20 minute converstion had made in her life. 

It is so eye opening to hear stories like this.  I don’t ever think that everyone else I meet during my day is doing great, has no problems and doesn’t need help, but I often act that way.   Do I really act and treat others with the love and kindness that could, for those most needing it, make such a big difference? 

Reflect more, risk more, love more…..