In the song, “Ten Years” by Paul Simon, he pens: Ten years come and gone so fast I might as well...
I think being a bit personal today makes sense. You see, I am 50 years old today. It’s odd to type that. I very much feel anywhere from 15 to 24. I have the same swagger, the same vibrancy, the same hunger as I did then. I still believe in what could be more than I believe all is lost. I think it unlikely that I will live another 50 years, so I want to write what I know now.
I know love. I know more than how to receive it, but how to give it away. I have learned through the years that I need to love without expecting the return. If it comes, great. If it does not, then I was offering a conditional love. Loving someone else isn’t supposed to be connected to what they can give me. Rather, love is about sacrifice. I understand that love shouldn’t be wasted on someone who doesn’t want me. I love because I choose to love. By choosing love, I offer the very best of me which is actually a gift returned right back to me.
And because of that perspective on love, I am grateful for all I have been given. I know that thankfulness enriches my spirit and maintains a grounded humility in me. There is much in my life that I am grateful for; at times, it brings me to my knees. While I know that the business built in Humareso has been a tremendous gift for me and many others, I cannot be more humbled than I am when I look at my three children. These young adults bring tears to my eyes almost daily. These three would be anyone’s dream legacy. How could I not be thankful?
I know that there are gifts I have, but I know better the ways in which I am to use them. The thousands of people who’ve heard me share messages on organizational strength, inclusion and equity, human resources management, talent acquisition and cultural integrity humble me. I know that I find a home when I share truth, when I encourage large change or an incremental shift in perspective, and when I say a word that frees a burden carried in secret. My words have power, no different than anyone else. I know that I have a duty with those words, and I have grown wiser in my approach.
I know that people are different but the same. Our differences may be protected by law, but that does not necessarily lead to a changed heart. I know that I have been fortunate to know many from other countries, other backgrounds and other perspectives. So much of what I have learned through the years has been directly influenced by the variety of people in my life. They’ve included me, rebuked me and loved me when I needed to have my butt kicked. I know diversity is more than a number or just about representation. I know that equity matters and must be fostered and fought for. I know that my voice has an impact.
I know the power of forgiveness. I believe that many people are acutely aware of their need to be free. I know, from years of hearing from employees at all levels in an organization, that the fundamental need to know they’re okay is life changing. When mistakes happen (whether they seem a big deal or not), people long to be told it’s okay, or if not, how they can move towards making it right. And while time may be the only cure, I know that I can join them on the journey of waiting. And when forgiveness is offered, a life may be restored. Heavy words but I have seen the power of it.
And finally, I know that kindness wins. From a guy whose been known to be a jerk at times, I know better today that kindness has opened more doors, has connected me to more people and has brought me into situations that I would not have entered were it not for maintaining a positive approach. I will keep working on this one, but I know the power of kindness better than I did even 10 years ago.
This is a different kind of blog for me to share. Thanks for your indulgence. 100 years is probably not in my future. But what I know is that if today were my last day, I know so much more goodness and love than I did before. And that will be enough for me to take into eternity.