An often wise suggestion is that it is best we leave people the way we would want to leave them if it were the last time we saw them. That’s a powerful suggestion and one I don’t take lightly.
And I am certainly not exempt from daily frustration, human error or saying something I wish I hadn’t said. But I am also not exempt from blasting out an apology just as quickly. It’s just who I am.
But a phrase crossed my path one day that stopped me in my thoughts. It made me think about how behavior toward people changes when it is discovered they are seriously ill. Or worse, regret sets in upon learning of someone’s passing. I wondered why it is that it often takes a tragedy or a terminal diagnosis before we busy little humans realize how precious life is and how superficial our priorities can be.
“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight.
Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward.
Your life will never be the same.”
~ Og Mandino ~
Think about that statement slowly. And in your moments of weakness, should you find yourself face to face with the temptation to lash out at someone, look into their eye and your soul and whisper they are going to be dead by midnight. It’s a pretty powerful reminder to treat everyone kindly all of the time.
And if for some reason you’ve lashed out before this phrase had time to come to your rescue – simply apologize. That, too, has a profound affect.
Do you leave each person you encounter the way you would want to leave them if it were the last time you saw them?