November 2009 |

Successful living requires a balance of courage and compassion, just as it demands we balance the time we devote to achievement with the time we invest in our relationships. Courage & Compassion is a free monthly newsletter about success in life and business.

A man who grew up with a volatile father was recalling his childhood years. Each afternoon while playing in the yard, he would hear his dad’s truck coming over the hill; the sound filling him with dread. After his dad pulled his truck into the driveway, the boy would yell, “Hi Dad. How was your day?” If his father grunted, slammed the door of the truck and then stomped into the house, the boy knew it would be a difficult night. If, on the other hand, his father responded with, “Good, son; I’ll be out to shoot some hoops with you.” a wave of relief would wash over the boy. The problem was that the boy never knew “which dad” was coming home.

Now, as a grown man, he remembered what it was like to experience that inconsistency year after year. His attention turned to his own wife and children. What did they feel when they heard his car pull into the driveway each night? Sadly, he realized that he had been burdening his family with inconsistent moods just as his father had. That evening as the man left work, he paused before turning out the light. He bowed his head and began to pray, “God forgive me for the many times I have returned home to my family carrying anger and frustration from work with me. As I turn out this light, I leave all my concerns and worries in your care. Please be with me now as I go home to do my “real” job, the most important one I have. Help me be the husband and father you designed me to be.”

The next three evenings he walked through the door with a cheerful, “Hello honey!” “Hello kids!” and hugged each one. His wife, suspicious after three days of this behavior, pulled him aside and said, “Okay, out with it! What is going on?” He told her how he had been praying each of the last three evenings before turning out the light in his office. Her eyes shiny with tears, she softly said, “Please don’t ever stop.”

Sometimes those who matter most receive the leftovers rather than the best we have to offer. Whether you are the one coming home or the one already there, greet those you love in a way that shows how glad you are to have them in your life.

Consider how inconsistent moods and behaviors in the workplace might be creating difficulties for your co-workers or colleagues. Be intentional about the impact you want to have on those around you. Your behavior influences the mood of the workplace/work culture.

Do not let someone’s negative behavior toward you dictate your mood or behavior toward others. Refuse to allow someone else’s anger to take up residence in you or flow through you to those with whom you interact. And, most importantly, don’t carry it home with you.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues. They can sign up to receive it at under Get Our Free Newsletter located on the lower left-hand corner of the home page. All that is required is a name and e-mail address.

For those of you that read about The Glycemic Load Diet in the last newsletter, there is a companion book that might interest you, The Glycemic Load Diet Cookbook. It is co-authored by Rob Thompson and Dana Carpender. I feel certain you can find many low glycemic load recipes in the books you already own, but this one has some recipes that allow you to make cheese crackers, muffins and breads; three treats I thought I had given up forever. You will have to go to a natural market of some kind to find ingredients like wheat germ, oat germ, sucanat (a healthy sweetener), etc., if you choose to make the baked goods, but there are many other recipes in the book that don’t require unusual ingredients. The Grilled Spinach Salad with Chicken and Apples and the Creamy Chicken and Artichoke soup are quite tasty. Boredom can be an enemy of sustained healthy eating. This book may help.

Listening with genuine interest is the fastest way to build rapport. To do this successfully you must intentionally take yourself out of “the center of the universe” and allow someone else to be “the center of the universe” for a period of time. I encourage you to challenge yourself to become a “generous listener.” Good listeners are not only popular everywhere, after a while they actually know something! In American culture, the decision maker is often the person who talks the most; in Japan, it is the person who talks the least.

A promise is only as good as the person who makes it. It’s easy to keep a promise when it’s convenient, but that’s not when it counts.

Featured Article

What's New & Different?

Relationship Tip

Point to Ponder


© Susan Silvers