“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand”–Psalm 16:11 (NIV).
In his book “Every Day is a Gift,” author Barry Gottlieb says when he was a younger man, “I lived my life with a philosophy of, ‘What’s in it for me?’”
His life, however, changed with two sentences. “You need to get your affairs in order. You have three months, six at the most, to live.” Sitting across from his oncologist that day, Barry says, “Those words shook my world. I thought he must be talking about somebody else.”
Diagnosed with a very rapid, fatal form of cancer, he was told there really wasn’t anything they could do for him. Since he didn’t think he had any options, Barry agreed to try some experimental treatments, which would make him unbelievably ill. A few weeks later, however, Barry received a call from his doctor who was screaming over the phone, “You don’t have cancer! It was a misdiagnosis…a mistake by the lab.”
Can you imagine the roller coaster of emotions Barry experienced? For Barry, however, it changed the way he thought about life. From that day forward, he said, “I made the decision to treat every day as a gift.”
What if, upon awakening, we looked at each day as a gift and decided to take action? Barry offers the following action steps in his book:
- Gratitude. Every night before you go to sleep, recite aloud at least 10 things for which you are grateful.
- Forgive. Let go of the past. Forgive those who have hurt or angered you. Stop carrying this poison around with you every day.
- Love. Be sure to tell those people in your life who mean so much to you that you love them and appreciate them.
- Donate. Go through your closets. Anything you haven’t worn or used in the past year, box it or bag it and take it to a place where those who are less fortunate will benefit from your donation. Get your children involved!
- Praise. Make time to praise. Look for and recognize the good in others.
I recall a quiz I received via email once. Asked to identify the following, most people can’t give an answer: Name the five wealthiest people in the world or the last five Miss America pageant winners. Name 10 people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize or the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
However, most of us can list a few teachers who aided our journey through school or three friends who have helped us through a difficult time. We can easily name five people who have taught us something worthwhile or who have made us feel appreciated and special.
What lesson can we learn from this quiz? People who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money or the most awards. They are the ones who care the most.Share your thoughts with the author below. Please leave a comment.