Friday, December 17, 2010

"Count Your Blessings"


When’s the last time you reached out to someone and told them something? Like how you feel or what you’re going through or fears and worries that you have or what you’re doing or about your hopes and dreams or just simply about what you’re doing.  Did you do any of these face-to-face, using your voice, using all your senses, responding and reacting while sharing a real physical space in real time? Or did you just log on and connect with them via one of the oh-so-many cyber channels available today? If you’re like most of us, you used Twitter or Facebook or email or text messaging or something that used one of many devices we all have and love. And just as likely, you missed a chance to really share the human experience.

I’m old fashioned enough to still believe that being and interacting with people in the flesh (as they say) is better than connecting in cyberspace. Oh sure, it’s easier in cyberspace (like this email message) but I think there’s something to be said for writing a letter and putting a stamp on it and sending it in the mail or picking up the phone and dialing the number and saying hi and then talking live or sitting down with someone and watching and listening to them with your eyes and ears and all the rest of your senses. Yeah, Skype is cool, but being in the same real space and time with someone is way cooler and a whole lot more satisfying. If we don’t watch out, one day soon we’ll all just be staying in bed with our WiFi connections rather than the human connections that are so much better. When those old AT&T commercials used to encourage us to “reach out and touch someone”, I don’t think they ever envisioned that we’d be doing it in such impersonal ways. In this holiday season, when family and friends are so important, reach out in a more human way: in-person. I think you’ll be glad you did.

In this holiday season, it’s important to be more human than not, and not-for-nothing, my message this week is about life’s blessings:

“Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has plenty, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  -Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812 – 1870) was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, responsible for some of English literature's most iconic characters (like Ebenezer Scrooge). The continuing popularity of his novels and short stories is such that they have never gone out of print.

Counting one’s blessings often leads to the question of whether the proverbial glass is half full or empty – this age-old reflection in many ways points out clues to a person’s personality and style. If you look back on the things you’ve done, the results they produced, their impact on others and the effect they had on your life, you can’t help but see and compare the good versus the bad. And therein lies the basic challenge of life: were any or all of these more good than bad? Which is it? And what then can or will you do about it? In the end, it’s probably better to be an optimist about things, to see the good things and try to improve upon them and to recognize the not so good and find ways to improve them too. Do that, and you’re likely to be seen and heard and respected as a real person. And that’s a good thing!

Stay well!

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