October 8, 2020

Breathe Some Life Into Your Work!

The thing is…
This level of enthusiasm and humour…
it just isn’t in the script.
Well, not for a 96 year old, anyway.

it’s my Dad, you see.
He’s been here for centuries.
And he’s still laughing.

Of course, when he laughs…
Well I can’t help myself.
I start laughing too.
Starting with a chuckle deep in my throat;
Which then spreads down to my belly…
And up to the flowing of tears in my eyes.

As I talk to him each weekend, I do wonder – and wander – a little.
Is it the decades of healthy, vegetarian based, Seventh Day Adventist diet?
Or is it his no-need-for-doctors youth enjoyed in Jamaica…
working on his parents’ thriving farm, and milking cows at 5 am?

No. That’s not the full answer.
Because, most men would have given up and faded away…
when their sweetheart (of forever) left them behind, with memories and photographs and today’s post as the highlights of life.

So, what’s his secret?

I’ll tell you what I think.
I think it’s because he’s listened to.

For hours every week…
Special people listen to him.
There’s his energetic carer.
Then there’s his most devoted neighbour, Marvin.
There are hosts of church friends and nephews and nieces and grandchildren.
They listen to him.

They listen to story after story.
Some humorous.
Some wistful.
Some that’ll make your hair curl!
Some that get better with the 21st telling.
(And he still has some in his repertoire that I’m only just hearing now!)

In listening, they grow to love him.
And – not surprisingly – he feels bathed in that.
So, he wakes each morning. Knowing.
Knowing that he’ll be listened to again today.

It’s one of the potent elixirs that come with this ultimate profession that I’ve chosen.
This thing called coaching.

it’s a tad more than a professional skill.
It’s a thing of magic; because it’s mixed with love, you see.

You simply can’t help growing to love someone, when you see what’s happening to them…
In this safe space – this sanctuary – you create for them.

When you’re not listening to argue with them, or compete with them, or counsel them.
Or to judge them (and isn’t that a tough battle?)

Which makes me wonder…
(If this is the effect that we can have on others).
Why would we choose not to use such a quality in our professional day…
and so help give more Life to each soul that we meet?

One day, I’ll not hear Dad’s voice every weekend.
But until that day, I can tell you this…
He’s alive as alive can be.

Someone listens to him.
Listens with more than ears.
He is heard with mind, heart and soul.
And, through this, he knows that he matters.