Monday, March 8, 2010


I sat next to the bed of old man, a friend for over twenty years, and held his hand. Hal was dying. We both knew these next few days would be his last.

We spent time reminiscing about his long and fruitful career as a church pastor. We talked about old friends. We chatted about his family. And I listened as he offered sage wisdom and advice to a member of a "younger generation."

At a lull in the conversation, Hal seemed to carefully consider what he was about to say next. Then he squeezed my hand, gazed intently into my eyes and whispered, just loud enough for me to hear, "Nothing is more important than relationships."

I knew that this was somehow near the pinnacle of his life's learnings. As he considered all of his experiences -- personal, professional, spiritual and family, this one ultimate observation surfaced above the rest: "Nothing is more important than relationships."

"Don't get overly caught up in your career," he seemed to be saying to me. "Likewise, don't use people in order to achieve your goals, then throw them away. No project, no program, no task should be pursued at the expense of friends and family. Remember," I heard him saying, as clearly as if he were speaking the words, "that in the end, only your relationships will truly matter. Tend them well."

Writer Og Mandino puts it this way: "Beginning today," he said, "treat everyone you meet as if he or she were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again."

At the end of a long life, my friend Hal would have agreed.

-Author Unknown-


Tiger said...

Nothing is more important that the people you care about.
About to leave my job soon for a much better prospect, and the only people I will miss are my staff who have been great comrades. Wouldn't miss the other snakes in the company, but then again, I will not need to bother about them ever again.

masterwordsmith said...

Dear Tiger

So happy for you! May God bless you in your new place of work and may you bear fruit there. Take care and please keep in touch.


zackzara said...

Sometimes, I do take things for granted. Thank you for your reminder. I do focus on my career a lot these days due to uncertainties in relationship (I think it's a one-sided issue) but the last paragraph re-tune my mindset once again. Thanks!

masterwordsmith said...

Hi zackzara

Lovely to hear from you again. Life is so impermanent that we have to take it one step at a time :-). We all learn as we go along, picking up precious lessons. You are most welcome! It is my pleasure to share and to inspire others as I get inspired in the process too!

Keep in touch ya?