As I was speaking to Bank of America managers in Dallas this past week, I talked a lot about building relationships—relationships with employees, relationships with colleagues, and relationships with customers. These folks were each going to manage their own banking centers, and they were at the very end of a three month training session. They had been in class since early morning, there had been an open bar and dinner, and then I was scheduled to speak, certainly not the professional speaker’s favorite venue!
What happened that night was absolutely amazing as these precious people opened their minds and hearts to fully realize the awesome opportunity they would each have to create workplaces where both employees and customers would feel valued and respected, places where people could be their very best selves. Not only did I receive a spontaneous standing ovation when I finished, but people lined up across the room to give me a hug, and many waited for nearly an hour to have me sign their books. Later that evening as I was pondering the tremendous impact my words had on the audience, the connection that occurred between us, and the deep spirit of caring that was created in that room, the following thought occurred:
LIFE IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS! Some last a lifetime, others are precious gifts of the moment, but some, even though short-lived in the eternity of time, will change our lives forever.
These are the relationships that imprint themselves onto our very being and stretch us in ways that can bring both intense joy and excruciating pain. And yet most of us would never wish them out of our experience because these deep soul connections teach us more about our real selves than we could learn in any other way. And even though life may force us to move on to other paths, we are grateful.
“Life is made up of many partings welded together.”
– Charles Dickens, Great Expectations –
“I am a part of all I have met.”
– Tennyson’s Ulysses –
……. I would like to think of our friendship as being like two rivers, which one day, within the fleeting moments of time, met and suffused – two rivers that arose from different valleys to flow together toward the sea. As time would have it – our lives – like rivers, stir and break to carve our separate courses toward destiny’s distant uncharted waters. No longer will the rivers together flow – no longer will they laugh at rain together. Time and space will be between them. But as friends who together flowed through the valleys of knowledge, each will retain a part of the other. Each, several years hence, will look back upon moments past with a smile.
Sometimes rivers meet again – if only for a span – so perhaps somewhere within the eternity of time our lives will again converge. But …..if not even for a moment can we relive the friendship we have had – I will cherish until death the mere fact that I have known you.
How blessed I feel to have loved and been loved in a wide variety of relationships throughout my lifetime. We may lose our health, our possessions, and even the physical presence of those we love, but NEVER will we lose the memory, however fleeting the relationship, of connecting heart to heart and soul to soul.
For each friend I’ve met on my journey — from seat mates on airplanes, to members of my audiences, to friends who have walked beside me for over 50 years — I say from the depths of my being, “Thank you for touching my life.”
When I think of a life filled with purpose and meaning, it is all about building relationships. What kind of relationships are you building each day?
Blessings and love,
© Barbara Glanz Communications. All Rights Reserved.
Barbara Glanz Biography
A member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and one of fewer than 700 Certified Speaking Professionals worldwide, Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve morale, retention and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the first speaker on record to have spoken on all 7 continents and in all 50 states. Known as "the business speaker who speaks to your heart as well as to your head," Barbara is the author of twelve books including The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®, CARE Packages for the Workplace, and 180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm™. Voted "best keynote presenter you have heard or used" by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Barbara uses her Master’s degree in Adult Learning to design programs that cause behavior change. She lives and breathes her personal motto: “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.barbaraglanz.com.