Friday, July 30, 2010

A Better Way To Live

Thanks to Tim McGraw and Kris Allen, we have all heard the saying "Live like you were dying."  This saying encourages us to live life to the fullest, tell your family and friends that you love them, and make decisions as though there is no tomorrow.  I am a fan of this saying, except for the fact that we would all be broke since there would be no reason to save money.

I recently read the book A Better Way to Live by Og Mandino (one of my favorite authors).  He says that we should live like everyone else is dying.  Mandino writes:

"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight.  Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward.  Your life will never be the same again."
Now that is a challenge.  I mean I don't have a problem going sky diving, rocky mountain climbing, or going 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.  But asking me to treat every person I meet with all of the care, love, kindness, and understanding that I can muster is a different story.

Think about it though.  How do you suppose people would react if you treated them with unexpected and undeserved love and kindness?  How would your cashier, bank teller, food server, teacher, student, friend or family member feel if you stepped out of your comfort zone and talked to them as if you may be the last person that made them feel important?  Well how would you respond if someone did that to you?

So the next time you see a familiar face or meet someone, treat them as though they will be gone at midnight and make them feel important on their last day on Earth.

By the way, there are 16 other timeless principles that Og Mandino recommends to live by in his book A Better Way to Live.  It's a quick read and I recommend it.

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