Ed’s Spring blog
It seems like each month is going by a little faster as the weather starts to warm. Last week I attended 2 funerals for people that had different impacts on my life-but as wakes and funerals seem to do-it got me to pondering life and its little lessons. I was struck by some comments made at the first funeral. I had not known the man directly but through his son and out of honor and respect took the time (luckily I didn’t have patient’s scheduled at that time) to attend and be there for support. The family friend that spent some time recounting the deceased life said two things that really struck home with me. The first was the man had the ability to actively listen-he couldn’t tell a story in under 2 hours but he could give you his full attention each time to such an extent that it always made you feel special and that you were really heard. The second was that he was authentic. That everyone that knew him-really KNEW him. He did not put on any masks or hide. He had suffered from a long mental illness and the last 4 years of his life was able to rise above it and really live 100% and he did live it-fully and completely.
The other funeral was one for a man that had given me a chance 20 years ago when few others would. He spent the time and listened to my goals and dreams-he took a risk on me which allowed my Leominster office to be built and for my company to hit an entirely new level. Since the early days I have known him to be a man of great integrity and kindness. His sons spoke during the funeral and it was amazing to hear of all the other sides to this complicated but public man.
My reflections were deep over the last week and I am sure will continue for a long time to come but I do know I have gained some insight into these 2 men and can’t help but to measure myself against these truths:
- Do I spend the time to actively listen when others speak to me, do I let them know by my actions and not my words that they have been heard and understood?
- Have I lived my life in a haze-not seeing and experiencing what is there in front of me?
- Do I live my life authentically and without masks?
Lastly-can I tell a story in under 2 hours? At least I know the answer to the last question- but I will need to continue to re-evaluate the others more often. I know I can do better-but that’s one of life’s blessings-each day we can try to be a little better than the previous day. Each day is a BLESSING! Life it as if each were your last-hold your family and friends tight-let them know you LOVE them and actively listen but keep your stories under 15 min- it will take time to increase my attention span.