Home Editorials Essentials… – Barry Koplen

Essentials… – Barry Koplen

It takes practice… If we only learn the hard way, we might lose something we’ll regret losing. Less important examples come to mind such as forgetting to pay an electric bill or overlooking a bald spot on your right rear tire. Although such items can be fixed or repaired, experiencing them has value if they teach you to be more mindful. Life’s other, more personal aspects, can work the same way.

That’s why I taught my children to say “Thank you!” for almost everything, to look for reasons to say it. When I see them now, decades later, I think they’ve learned that lesson well. My older daughter recently thanked me for helping with her dishes.

And I must admit this: that warmed me from the inside. Proof was the smile that immediately followed. What can be more uplifting than to be appreciated by your children and their thanks?

Well, one thing comes close. That one thing? For me, at least, it’s the expression of genuine love and affection. Such expressions are more than golden. They are life-giving, transfusions of caring.

Examples of the most meaningful forms of such expressions are abundant and affordable. I’m sure you know what I’m thinking.

Well, I hope so.

Consider this to be my short list. I must admit that it’s incomplete. That’s why I’m sure you could share ideas with me. Even so, I’ll mention these, just a few of my own.

Often, give hugs. There is never a bad hug UNLESS your partner doesn’t want it. If so, you may want to find out why.

Kisses work the same way. They can mean different things at different times. But they always convey some degree of caring.

I’ll mention one more, as important as morning coffee or a meal when you’re hungry. If you do this daily, it will anchor, possibly ensure, your relationship.

Find a way (words will do) to say “I love you.” Simple as that sounds, you’ll have to interrupt your torrid pace of a brutal day or the distraction of a game or a show you didn’t want to miss to stop long enough to say “I love you” convincingly. Can you do it?

Unless you mean it, you won’t be able to say it with feeling. And, if you can’t say it with feeling, what does that tell you?

I know what it would tell me…