Happiness and Being Special
Originally posted 2014
A few nights ago I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Bill Clinton. This was the first time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a former US President speak and I was fortunate to have good seats. The things I noticed about President Clinton were first, he has lost a lot of weight since he has left office, and second, Bill Clinton is a brilliant, brilliant man. He made a lot of interesting observations about politics, our current fiscal cliff situation and told some great stories. However there was one thing that he said that really hit home.
When asked a question about the most influential person in his life, Bill Clinton wandered through the answer the moderator wanted talking about several of the famous political figures in his life. However at the end of the answer, and with Clinton that takes a while, he got to a very important point. What President Clinton said was the one thing all successful people have in common, is that someone, at some point in their life, made them feel like they were the most special person in the world.
I thought about this for a time last night and it’s similar to another question that I have contemplated before in my life. Where does my confidence come from, what was it in my life that helped me overcome what weren’t the best starting circumstances. Well quite simply, for a time in my life I had a couple of people who made me feel like the most special little kid on Earth. When I was very young between ages 2 and 4 I had two grandparents who I called POW and Granny, who treated me like the sun rose and set on my command. Sure, they were spoiling me, I was their first grandchild. Unfortunately my grandfather would die shortly after my 5th birthday but for a time these people put me on a pedestal. My Granny continued to make me feel this way for the rest of her life, so I owe them and especially her that debt and I told her so on more than one occasion.
So today my friends, think about someone who might have done this for you, thank them. If possible, pay this forward, find some young kid somewhere in your life. It doesn’t have to be your child, or a relative even, it doesn’t have to something magnanimous. Clinton told another story to illustrate this point, the story centered on three brothers in a family. One of the brothers became a medical doctor, his two brothers went to prison. When a study of these men was undertaken to figure out what factor made the difference between the three brothers, they found one thing. For the youngest brother, the doctor, there was a daily interaction he had that had no parallel in the other brother’s lives. Each day on the way to school, a guy who ran a local newsstand would stop him, and ask him what his plans for the day were. In the afternoon he’d stop him again, ask about his homework and check to see if it was done in the morning. He was not a relative, not really a proper friend even, but he was someone who made that young man feel that he, and what he was doing in school was important and that was enough. So make some young person feel important, you may be doing much, much more than you can imagine to make that person successful, happy and impacting the happiness of all of us.
Equally as importantly, have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane