Several years ago I was required to attend a work-related training in Newark, New Jersey during the last week of June. For four days I was immersed in software training with 12 other individuals from all over the United States. Since I had never had the opportunity to visit the Eastern part of the States I was hoping to get a chance to visit New York City while I was there. One afternoon our training finished early so a group of us decided to ride the train from Newark to New York City and take a quick mini-tour to as many historic sites as possible during the four short hours we had available. Luckily, one person in our group was from Philadelphia and was familiar with New York’s transit system so we were confident he could successfully lead us to the various parts of the city we so desperately wanted to visit.
That evening at 5:00 pm we boarded a train in Newark and twenty minutes later found ourselves arriving in the famous Penn Station. From there we proceeded to visit Madison Square Gardens, Ground Zero, Wall Street, Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and by dark we were in the middle of Times Square which was lit up in all its technological glory. It was a fast and furious trip that provided quite the adrenaline rush as we literally would run from the train to the subway and then to the sidewalk, soaking up historic scenes that most of us had only vicariously experienced through photographs and movies. To those around us it was obvious that we were a group of bright-eyed tourists but we didn’t mind as it was an adventurous, spontaneous, memorable, and down right fun day for all of us.
You are probably wondering why I am sharing my New York City speed tour with you especially when the title of this blog post is “The Power of Relationships”. Let me provide you with the connection. The group of individuals I toured New York City with consisted of individuals I had never met before and in fact, barely knew in spite of sitting next to them during our training. Even though the group was friendly and seemed to watch out for one another during the evening, I could not help but wish that my husband or daughters were there with me. I longed to share my incredible journey through the beautiful streets of New York City with those family members I loved, trusted and cared about. In fact, because I was about to burst with excitement I felt compelled to call them on my cell phone (thank heavens for technology), and share with them what I was seeing and feeling. So, at each historic destination I would stop, pull out my phone and quickly call my husband or daughters, (whom ever was available) and with obvious excitement in my voice tell them where I was standing, describe the view, and share exactly how I was feeling. What gave more meaning and memory to that special evening in June as I took in the sights of one of the most amazing cities was being able to share it with those I love.
I would like you to take a moment today and think back in your life to when an exciting or positive event took place. A time where you felt so happy you could barely contain yourself and needed to share it with someone. Who was that someone you shared it with? A friend, a family member, your spouse, or even a co-worker? How satisfying and rewarding did it feel to be able to share such wonderful news with someone you felt could join you in your joy?
This life is all about building and maintaining loving relationships. One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions for the word loving is “painstaking” which means “diligent care and effort”. Certainly developing and nurturing relationships take time, attention, and commitment but are well worth the rewards you will reap. Relationship building is about personal contact with another human being that you love and care for and takes effort beyond the regular electronic screen of social networking, video chatting, and emails. It is connecting at a level that can only be done in person, face to face, spirit to spirit, and eye to eye. It is a physical hug, a touch of the hand, a kiss on the cheek, and a side by side conversation that welds and binds a relationship that will last forever. We must actively build trust with others and be compassionate, understanding, patient, charitable, and develop an unconditional love. Without our family and close friends our lives would be empty, lonely, and very one-dimensional. Our Creator provided a way through family and friends for us to experience life with a depth of richness that is unmatched by any other way.
Today’s challenge: Take an inventory of your personal relationships and find one you would like to strengthen and develop.
“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” ~Anthony Robbins
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~Marcel Proust