I went to a funeral today. As you would imagine, it was a sad day. The family was next to the casket, tearfully thanking those of who paid our respects, and offered our prayers. The death was unexpected, just a regular day. What I thought of the most were the final words to their loved one. What might they have been? It was a regular conversation on a regular day. Likely an “I love you” at the end of it. I thought about what kind of conversations I have on a daily basis, whether I communicate what a person means to me, how they enrich my life. Usually I don’t in the course of daily conversation. The timing is ironic because I had just read an essay by Michael Smith titled “Don’t Wait for the Funeral to Give a Eulogy” (posted on Michael Hyatt’s blog). We usually gather and say nice things about people when they are on their way out, or have already passed on. I resolved to not let this happen anymore in my life.
I began to formulate lists of people who I need to tell how much they mean to me, and lengthy tomes as to how they bless me. Unfortunately, this is normally where I get hung up. 2 things happen at this point:
- My list becomes too long, and I am overwhelmed, so I don’t do anything.
- I begin to write or speak, but end up rambling on, losing sight of the original message.
Friends and family who know me well know that I can ramble. Brevity is a skill I am acquiring, and work on it each conversation I have. Rockmont folks would call it one of my growing edges. As I was thinking about how I would praise my co-workers at our meeting tomorrow, I was subconsciously turning a 10 second compliment in to a 3 minute mash-up of a compliment, story time, and vision for the future. Unnecessary! On a daily basis, short conversations and notes can be the perfect opportunities to let someone know you value them. Over the past few months, I have been the recipient of a few out-of-the-blue messages that have been very meaningful to me. They were short, meaningful, and didn’t take much time.
I think that many of us spend a lot of our time talking, talking, talking, and say nothing meaningful. The sad and wonderful truth is that to speak a compliment, a truth, or a blessing does not take much from us, and gives so much to another. When we are accustomed to meaningful compliments and truth-speaking, it becomes difficult to turn it off! Our lives are transformed in to fountains of praise and truth for others!
The question today is, who do you need to speak a meaningful word to? If someone close to you wasn’t around anymore, what would you have wanted to tell them? Don’t wait, tell them soon, little by little. It’s worth the time.
If you see fit, share who you would like to eulogize today.