You can balance a lot of things in life. You can balance your time, you can balance your partying, you can balance your work life and you can balance your emotions, but one thing I don’t think you should balance is the amount of time you put into relationships with the people around you.
The people around you deserve more than “balance”. The people around you deserve the most beautiful imbalance imaginable; they deserve so much of your attention that it is obnoxiously out of whack. It should be lop sided, the amount of support, coaching, caring, loving, learning and listening that we offer to these people who help round out our lives.
In today’s world of balancing work and home (and everything in between) life begins to meld together, doesn’t it? We have mobile devices that keep us in regular touch with most of the people close to us (work and home), we drive past thousands of people daily and we work with hundreds, if not thousands, of people, which gives us ample opportunity to offer the support I mentioned above, but I know that I haven’t always taken advantage of those opportunities. I know there are people who I have come in contact with and I wasn’t my best self, which is part of being human I guess, but when I heard from a friend today, it quickly reminded me how easy it can be to forget about taking care of the people around us.
These people in our lives might be co-workers, your immediate family, your neighbors or the stranger on the street, so imagine how crazy it would be if we took this article so literally that we pushed ourselves to care about everyone we came into contact with throughout out lives. Let’s take work as an example. All of us have tough decisions to make with respect to work, don’t we? In today’s world, work requires a lot of interaction with people and some of us even get paid to coach, lead and manage other people, so we probably have double the exposure. Work is requiring more hours than we might want, it has more stress than we might have signed up for and from time to time, work is plain irritating. That said, imagine if our “work place” was filled with people whose sole purpose was to treat you with respect, dignity, compassion and humility. What if when you weren’t performing well, they had the common courtesy of telling you that you weren’t performing and suggesting some ways for you to begin performing to the standards they may have set because they care too much to let you suffer or to let you put the others around you in harm’s way?
Interesting concept, huh? Remember, all of us are going to die some day and from what I’ve been told by those who are much older than I am, you should be enjoying things in life that help to create a legacy. Laughing, coaching, loving, guiding, volunteering, and aiding are all verbs that describe something a person would do for another person and it’s my belief that those are the actions that create a legacy.
I learned a valuable lesson today through a friend’s challenge. You never know when that “thing” called a job might come to a close or those people who you interact with on a daily basis might forget about taking care of people first. I am going to try and be more thankful for the people around me and even if the people around us aren’t behaving the way we might have hoped for, please continue to treat them with the dignity, respect, compassion and humility that I mentioned earlier in this article. If someone needs help, offer it to them. If someone needs to move on, coach them to do so. If someone needs to vent, listen to them. Overall, work to be a servant to the people around you. It will make you a better family person, better employer, better employee and in general, a happier human being.