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How To Make Anyone’s Day Better: My Grandfather

In this series I am exploring ways to improve the days of other people. In each post I will focus on a person I feel is exemplary in making the lives of others more enjoyable. Read the original post:

How To Make Anyone’s Day Better.
How To Make Anyone’s Day Better: The Crossing Guard


My entire life, I’ve been in love with the idea of myself as a Man Of Few Words, but when I choose to say something, everyone pays attention because I speak so rarely and am so wise.  It hasn’t worked out that way–I am currently the guy who never shuts up, ever, and only says things worth hearing by accident.

Those people do exist, however.  My grandfather is one of them.  You couldn’t meet a kinder, more generous, harder-working person, but talkative he is not.  The man knows how to listen.  He listens so well that whenever he decides to speak, everyone in the room drops what they are doing and pays attention.

I have heard him say three things that I’ve never forgotten.  Too much advice is given for the wrong reasons by people not in a position to advise anyone.  This is not the case with my grandfather.  He might not even remember saying these things.  He certainly has no idea that they have shaped so much of my life and the vision of the man I want to be.

1.  Arguing with your spouse is not worth it.  Ever

My mom is past 50 now.  She lived at home until she was nearly 20 and has been in constant contact with her father since then.  She says she never heard her parents argue.  When she asked my grandfather about it, he said (I am paraphrasing) that it just isn’t worth it to argue with your partner, especially not in front of your children.

2. Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut

This is simple: just listen more.  How novel, the thought that staying silent could be an opportunity and not an instance of missing out on the spotlight!

3. People remember kindness better than anything else

If you treat someone kindly, they may never forget you.

Please consider these things and try them out today if you get a chance.  You’ll defininitely get a chance to talk less.  That’s what I’m going to work on–not giving people the silent treatment because I’m so above it all, but just letting everyone else talk for a change.

Let us know what you’re working on and how it’s going in the comments section.

Take care,

Josh


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  • David Cain June 5, 2009, 7:17 am

    Very cool grandfather!

    I’ve had that same dream too; to be the man of few words who only says profound things.

    Not exactly headed that way, but that’s okay. I’ll get to it when I’m older 🙂