Sunday, August 12, 2012

Looking Back at 30 Principles in 30 Weeks

I would like to reflect on the past 30 weeks before embarking on the next set of 30 principles from "How to Stop Worrying & Start Living" next week.  As I think about the themes that have emerged from my experiment these past seven months, one major trend comes to mind: "Be Nice."  It's as simple as that.  Whether it's offering praise, apologizing quickly, or just smiling -- the principles from "How to Win Friends & Influence People" are all about being nice to one another.

This weekend I enjoyed celebrating my dear friend, Jesse's, wedding to her soulmate, Mosa.  Their beautiful ceremony included childhood stories from their parents. Jesse's mom and dad recounted how her fourth grade teacher asked the students to share something they liked about one of their classmates. In the teacher's 30 years of teaching, Jesse was the first student to come to the front of the classroom and say one nice thing about every one of her classmates. That beautiful spirit, that kindness, is an inspiration to everyone Jesse meets today.  I'm lucky to call Jesse a friend and to have her as a living, breathing example of the best Dale Carnegie has to offer.

This week I also spent time with the Gifts at their annual family camp in Minnesota. I was brought to tears by one man, Bryan Odeen, who shared a song he had written for his baby daughter called "Lessons for My Daughter."  The chorus struck a chord (literally!) in me:
"Learn to live wisely, learn to live kindly.
Learn to live loving the God who molded you.
Learn to be patient, learn to be gracious
And I will try to learn, too."

It was the last line that "hit home" the most... "And I will try to learn, too."  That's what these past 30 weeks have been to me.  I'm more confident than ever that our world is one big classroom and that life is one big lesson. Thanks for learning with me!

Alan and me celebrating with two kind souls who found each other - congrats Jesse & Mosa!

1 comment:

  1. This has been a great 30 weeks. "And I will try to learn to." I'm looking forward to your next 30 priniciples. Keep up the great work. Many benefit from the sharing of your 'Carnegie wisdom.'