As featured in North Hawaii News February 19, 2018
Those who are older than us often demonstrate love through the sharing of wisdom. Many of those words have been repeated frequently and for good reason. They ring true now just as they did centuries ago, when the grandparents of our grandparents were sharing their love through a fresher version of these antidotes. Last week, on Valentine’s Day, it was nice to emphasize our love and appreciation for others. Luckily, these loving expressions of wisdom are offered year round to encourage and inspire us.
First, you must try your best to appreciate every day that you have. None of us have any guarantees that we will be here tomorrow. When I ask my clients what they are grateful for, 95 percent of the time they first say their life. Of course, as you get older you appreciate the beauty of breath and a heartbeat more and more. I also believe that making the most of moments by being fully present in them will bring immense value to each day.
This leads me to the next often shared piece of advice: slow down. Not only does “haste make waste,” but speeding through life only makes the precious moments a blur. Life isn’t a race. Stop to smell the roses, and say I love you every day so you won’t miss the chance to be sure your feelings are clear.
Another piece of advice is to remember that there is a great big world out there, so don’t get caught up in the small stuff. Tunnel vision will only intensify the disappointments in life, rather than emphasize the beauty. Exposure to diverse cultures and connecting to various members of your community will help to keep your perspective open to new opportunities and adventure.
I’ve also been advised on many occasions to only use what is needed. Always be gracious and leave something for the next person. This advice often comes from those who experienced the Great Depression era, where there was little to go around, yet we are also learning about how this applies to our natural resources in this age of sustainability and eco-friendliness. No matter how much we are blessed with in our lives, remember to think of others and the world at large when handling our resources.
A commonly quoted commandment is to “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” Be kind to your neighbors. Always treat others with the utmost respect. They are the ones who are there for you when the unexpected occurs. It is also wise to always try to help the next person feel good, no matter how you may be feeling. Helping them will most likely help you feel better as well.
I would like to leave you with one of the most powerful expressions of all. No matter what you feel comfortable calling the source of all things, should you follow these words you will be on the right track: Love, as I (the source) have loved you, for the greatest gift is to love and to be loved.