I have mentioned previously that I am a subscriber to O Magazine. I pay a small fortune to have that magazine sent to me here in the UK. And I read it cover to cover every month. I read an article in there last month that I just have to tell you about.
Elizabeth Edwards is the wife of US Democratic President candidate John Edwards. She is currently fighting the return of cancer that first hit her immediately following the end of the 2004 US Presidential race when her husband was the Vice President candidate on the ballot with John Kerry.
She fought hard then and she is fighting hard now. She and her husband have made the decision to carry on running in the election. She considers it her life's work.
But this isn't the first or even second tragedy to strike the Edward family. Their 16 year old son, Wade, was killed in a car accident. Elizabeth admits that her world fell apart. It would, wouldn't it? Her faith was in tatters and she was rudderless for some time.
But through it all, Elizabeth has learned so much and one of the words of advice that she left me with and that I am practicing every day since I read the article, it that it's all about the people.
She finds it reprehensible that one of the mottos of America is "He who dies with the most toys wins." She insists that it's not what we have but the connections with people and our impact on the community in which we live that will be our legacy when we are gone.
She encourages people to know people. Find out the name of the person who serves you lunch. Who delivers your post. The security guard in your office. Connect with them. Say hello. Be polite. Ask about their lives. This could change a life.
Yesterday, I found out that the man who always serves me lunch is named Robert. He's served me lunch several times a week for the last year or so. You should have seen his face when I asked his name. Shocked, disarmed, and then pleased. I asked him if he had had a nice weekend. He said he did.
And then he served another person their lunch. With a smile on his face a bit bigger than it normally was. I wonder if he had a good day yesterday. I shall find out today.
Must find out what that security guard's name is. He is always so kind. I must tell him.
It's all about the people.