Thursday, December 20, 2007

Use The Holidays To Discover

So the holidays are here and for many of us that means spending hours, sometimes days, with family; many of which we don't get to see all that often. Whether it be with the grandparents, parents, cousins, in-laws, extended family, our own children, spouses and/or significant others an opportunity to do something very special is available to us all. It's an opportunity to learn about these people we call family. I don't mean just catching up on how people are doing physically or how the new job is going....I mean really learning about the people themselves.

When you take a broader look at our time on Earth, we realize that time is not infinite. For many of us the next year may or may not be our last. The time we all have here is so precious and yet so many of us spend our time focused on the things that aren't all that important. In fact, we fail to connect with those in our family on a level that reveals much about them at all. Sad when you think about that sister of yours that you know less about than the woman who sits in the cubicle next to yours isn't it?

Use the holidays to ask the insightful questions. Ask grandpa when he was your age what he dreamed he would be when he finally grew up. Ask your cousin what they are truly passionate about and what makes them tick. Ask the elders of your family how your family came to be and what they think of the family as it is today. Spend the time asking your mom and dad questions that let them be Jim and Janet (my parent's names) rather than mom and dad.

Is this hard? I won't lie to can be. Especially if your a family that doesn't truly know one another. But families should know one another don't you think? So when you decided to really get to know the people who you seldom see but really should know better, blame it on your old buddy Steve. Tell him this crazy Ripple author guy suggested this as a way to pass the time over the holidays. Blame me if it eases the reason for doing it, but no matter what, do it.

As most of you know, my mom has Alzheimer's disease. There are so many of those Christmas afternoons I wish I had back. I wish I could spend that time not looking at the cool loot I had just been given but really talking, really communicating with her. I know she had to have had hopes, dreams, fears, opinions, things that excited her but my friends, I never asked about them. I now sit here writing this post and realize that her disease has robbed her of her mind and me of the opportunity to have known what once was floating around in there. I really never knew my mom and that makes me sad.

Don't make the same mistake. Everyone has a story and like I preach incessantly throughout my BLOG, my book and my speeches and training, you just have to have the courage to ask.

Use the holidays to do some asking won't you.

Ripple On My Friends!!!


1 comment:

Tom Magness said...

Great post, Ripple Man. I lost my Dad a few Christmas' ago and sure wish he was still around to ask those questions you talk about. Regrets? You bet. We all need that reminder to make the most of our time together. Thanks...and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!