Words To Live By
I sat next to the bed of old man, a friend for over twenty years,
and held his hand. Hal was dying. We both knew these next few
days would be his last.
We spent time reminiscing about his long and fruitful career as
a church pastor. We talked about old friends. We chatted about
his family. And I listened as he offered sage wisdom and advice
to a member of a "younger generation."
At a lull in the conversation, Hal seemed to carefully consider
what he was about to say next. Then he squeezed my hand, gazed
intently into my eyes and whispered, just loud enough for me to
hear, "Nothing is more important than relationships."
I knew that this was somehow near the pinnacle of his life's
learnings. As he considered all of his experiences -- personal,
professional, spiritual and family, this one ultimate observation
surfaced above the rest: "Nothing is more important than
"Don't get overly caught up in your career," he seemed to be
saying to me. "Likewise, don't use people in order to achieve
your goals, then throw them away. No project, no program, no
task should be pursued at the expense of friends and family.
"Remember," I heard him saying, as clearly as if he were speaking
the words, "that in the end, only your relationships will truly
matter. Tend them well."
Writer Og Mandino puts it this way: "Beginning today," he said,
"treat everyone you meet as if he or she were going to be dead
by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and
understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of any
reward. Your life will never be the same again."
At the end of a long life, my friend Hal would have agreed.
[ Author Unknown -- from 'Aiken Drum' (Aiken@AikensLaughs.com) ]
All Rights Reserved.