On Christmas Day 1998 my parents gave me the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It’s a classic on the subject of building relationships and human interaction. The principles Carnegie shared are as relevant and significant today as it was when the book was first published 80 years ago.
I received the gift when I was in high school. Back then, I wasn’t a huge fan of human beings. I’d rather do things on my own and be by myself (I still do) and didn’t find the need for friends. But when senior year came, and throughout my college life and early years as a pro, I’ve consistently realized that friendships and the professional relationships we build in our lives are what really matters most. It’s not worth it to make it in life without being able to share it with people who value you and whom you value.
The lessons and advice from the book my parents gave me helped me become a better friend, acquaintance, and colleague. I have since continued to learn from and with people the value of valuing those around you.
The year 2015 is yet another season of learning from the classroom of life on the topic of human interaction and relationships. I’ve learned that there are people in our lives who will not only bring us joy with their company but also enormous value in their impartation. There are friends who will not only tell you what you want to hear but also what you need to hear. There are friends who will encourage and help you deal with your issues and not wallow in them. There are friends who will not waver on their promise and are committed to keeping in touch no matter what.
This year as in years passed since senior high school, I’ve been blessed with the perpetuity of old but stronger friendships, and new journeys paved by new relationships. I couldn’t be more grateful for the human beings in my life who I consider as family, friends, or acquaintances.
A relationship is a gift that made a difference in my life many times over and I’ve been blessed with an overflow of it. It’s more than enough reason to be thankful for 2015 and be excited for the year ahead.