Recently I went to a meeting that began: “I had a nightmare last night and would like to share it with you.” What an opening! It certainly caught my attention. My meeting partner proceeded to say he was worried about society and how, it seemed to him, we were in a downward spiral in areas like civility, politics, education and more.
He isn’t a cynic, nor did he express his views in a pessimistic matter—just impressions on how society has become more difficult for so many.
After the meeting, I thought about his concerns and how our society could improve. My review began with some conversations I had with my late mother who recently passed but who left behind a rich collection of values to follow. There were so many, in fact, that I decided to create a list. I then divided the items categorically into letters of the alphabet. Here is the letter L.
There was no better listener than my mother. When you spoke with her she not only seemed interested but she asked thought provoking questions, too. Most people do not listen attentively, instead we tend to focus on what we plan to say next and end up missing the essence of the conversation. True listening takes practice, but it’s well worth the effort. Conversations and relationships improve when both sides better understand what the other side is saying, and feeling.
Laughter is the antidote to misery. Laughing relieves emotional pressure and helps us to understand that life goes on despite our worries and concerns. Laughter is infectious, too. How often have you seen someone laughing simply because a friend or relative started laughing first? And, honestly, who can be angry when they’re laughing?
Learning is an essential part of growth. Of course, not all learning happens in the classroom, nor is it exclusive to scientists or professional educators. I encourage you to continue learning throughout your life; it’s important to pursue your interests. If you enjoy music, read about your favorite music group—where they started, how they got their big break—then maybe expand your scope to include similar music and musicians.
Today, there are so many new ways to learn and communicate, like podcasts for example. I suggest that you find one and listen. This will not only help to make you a more well-rounded and more interesting person, but you might just have some fun along the way. I recall that my mother read the NY Times every day, and she would share with me things like the Tuesday science news or Wednesday’s food section. I loved that she did this for me, and it brought us closer together.
Few, if any, can truly describe what love is. It seems to be a varied and personal emotion, something as essential as clothing or shelter. We can live without love, but not very comfortably or happily. Tomes have been written on love and the positive effects it has on mankind. As humans, we have an infinite amount of love in our reserve, yet we rarely share it with others. We tend to guard our love as if it were a scarce resource.
It takes work to share your love with others. But I encourage you to more openly express your love to friends and loved ones. Perhaps then you’ll be more comfortable showing love to neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances and more.
I suggest that when you wake up each morning you should try to make a conscious decision to love more than you did the day before. Don’t overthink it, just do it. Once you realize that sharing love can be done a little each day, you’ll see just how easy it is to show more love to the people around you.