I follow @calvinhobs1990 on Instagram, and the other day they posted the above strip and I swear I about broke down in tears. Good. Gracious. What a powerful reminder, as a father, husband, friend, teacher, principal, person - whatever.
Sometimes, often times, I get stuck in my world. I notice what I notice, place emphasis on what I think important, and ignore (or push aside) the things I think less important. Forgetting that, for others, what I think has little or no value is EVERYTHING to them. And when I neglect or wave off that thing, it isn't that thing I am waving off, it is them.
Sometimes, often times, what allows us to break through barriers and gain trust or love or respect from another is not based so much on how we act or what we say, but how we treat the things that matter to others. Everyone, I think, feels love and respected when someone loves and respects the things are hearts are wrapped around. Be it dreams, experiences, ideas, identities, or even things.
I know I'm guilty of this. Of losing relationships, potential relationships, and of damaging current ones because I don't treasure or respect their prized possession.
My grandmother said it plain. "Love what they love, and they'll never fear you. They’ll trust you." Or, as Robert Duvall said in the classic 90's movie Phenomenon, "He bought her chairs. Have you ever bought Lisa's chairs?"
As we wrap up September and head into October, consider how you can invest in someone by loving what they love. A student, a colleague, a friend, whomever. How can you "buy their chair" and gain their trust, their friendship, their respect?
How can you build a relationship by caring for something as small and "worthless" as a stuffed tiger?
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