Make It Matter
At a recent birthday celebration for a colleague, we were each asked to dole out a piece of advice to our youngest full-time staffer. Starting with the oldest co-worker and moving down in age gave me little time to think. As with all other humans, there have been lots of mistakes and lessons and experience in my many years, just where all those little nuggets of advice are learned, but putting these into one relatable, useful statement created a moment of near panic.
What came to mind, finally, goes back to a favorite Winnie-The-Pooh quote, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard”. Having just dropped my first-born off at college, and having felt the full impact of both the “how lucky I am” and the “good-bye so hard”, my advice was to have relationships that matter – make connections that are real. In a world where friends and connections have a vastly different meaning than during my long-ago youth, this is advice that feels worth repeating (over and over).
So with your child(ren), your parents, your friends, your clients…be present and real and share yourself in a way that has impact, for you and the other person. This involves work and thoughtfulness and, yes, heartache, because it will matter. It will matter that you were there, that the relationship happened, that you are both forever changed for having known one another.
If you are lucky enough to be a part of a family, a school, a company, a project…make it matter.