Big Hearts, Warm Hands, Deep Eyes.

#5 The Law of Addition

We add value to others when we…

…..Truly value others.

…..Make ourselves more valuable to others.

#10 The Law of Connection-Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.

John Maxwell

As  I rummage through the hand basket of memories from grade school, there are some truly inspiring people who served as great role models for me. One of them truly changed my vision of what was possible in the world and added value to the whole school. Her name was Mrs. Fisher.

Her younger daughter was in my grade and her older daughter was one year ahead of my big sister Wendy…and Wendy’s biggest competition for the position of Queen of the school, at least through my endlessly idolizing eyes.

As I entered third grade, Wendy was heading into sixth-yeah! year after next and she inherits the title. That’s because as long as Mrs. Fisher continued to contribute so much to our parish, her well deserving daughters would always reign.

Now I never really knew her oldest daughter, but my classmate exemplified in my opinion, the awesome qualities of her mom. She was a stunning vivacious blonde, gracious, sweet, smart and fun. I felt the whole family was inspiring in that way and was so grateful to have them in my world.  They just made it better. I was a follower of Mrs. Fisher’s.

What did she do and who was she? I later guessed that she must have been a professional dancer from New York who chose to have a family and moved to Florida.  What she did that was so inspiring to me was create celebrations for the school and church.

Now I grant my ancient memories may have exaggerated with age, like just how big those crabs were that walked onto our altar in the middle of services, or the frequency with which the peacocks and alligators scampered into our classrooms in North Miami Beach.

What I recall is that for every holyday and season, Mrs. Fisher created, choreographed, costumed and conducted ceremonies filled with dance and song for the congregation, with the students. They were deeply moving,  highly visual, and ritualistic.

There were three highlights that I so looked forward to each year, all in the spring.

  • First was the Easter show, I imagine it was on the eve of Good Friday.
  • Second, was the May Day celebration to Mother Mary, with the beautiful Maypole dance. I someday wanted to be in that celebration.
  • The third was the best though, because that I was in–every child in the school was in it.  The Spring Spectacular!

Mrs. Fisher would pick a theme every spring. Each grade would do a class number. In first grade, we did a Can Can–I guess the theme was Parisian.  Our dresses were black with yellow ruffles and black hats with yellow ruffles. WOW! so cool. We performed on the stage of the High School–the auditorium must have seated a thousand at least! This I looked forward to every year- a chance to be on a big stage in front of a big audience, no matter how unskilled I was in comparison to the beautiful dancers from the Easter show or the Maypole Dance. Mrs. Fisher

We performed on the stage of the High School–the auditorium must have seated a thousand at least! This I looked forward to every year- a chance to be on a big stage in front of a big audience, no matter how unskilled I was in comparison to the beautiful dancers from the Easter show or the Maypole Dance.

Mrs. Fisher allowed every child to be perfect and to shine. She truly added value.  When we moved before my fifth grade to Maryland, it wasn’t long before I began to lead the show when there was no new Mrs. Fisher.

Mrs. Fisher’s contribution was large, time-consuming and broad-reaching. Not everyone may be called to lead on that level.

Nonetheless, we all must lead ourselves and so the law of adding value can be applied in the smallest ways also.  Leading myself might mean adding value to me and those in my inner circle with small moments.

Suppose I gift myself with quality time by declaring my own intention that the smallest activity is adding value to me. If I need to clean, organize, iron, research, shop, weed. etc. I may procrastinate by doing other more important things.

In effect, I unconsciously have deemed those task as not adding value to me, I may even resent having to do them.

A quick and brief pause, inhale a moment to appreciate the value I will add to me by completing the task, and exhale into action, I strengthen my inner leadership skills and begin to operate out of gratitude and appreciation.

A simple task for the other and yourself is to greet people with the genuine appreciation of their presence, before moving into “business” or tasks.  This is especially meaningful for the people in your daily life.

Have you every noticed people greet their pets? Most of us greet our dogs, cats, birds and lizards with loving affection when we come and go. I know I greet my dog so enthusiastically even the fourth time that day that I’ve come and gone. We drop our worry from work, our agenda to get things done, etc. and joyfully greet the pet.

.Tibby- adds value to me. How may I add value to you?

Tibby- adds value to me. How may I add value to you?

Yet, we see our loved ones and so often go straight into a conversation-–perhaps continuing your most recent phone chat, or what just happened, etc.

Imagine how different our whole experience would be if we greeted our loved ones as warmly as we greet our dogs, each and every time we see them? If you have time to greet an animal with such affection and a warmth, why not take that moment to connect with everyone in your day? OK-who starts? I do. Try it. Look into someone’s eyes and connect, breathe, inhale, exhale. BE with them. See if you feel added value.

If you have time to greet an animal with such affection and a warmth, why not take that moment to connect with everyone in your day?

OK-who starts? I do. Try it.

Look into someone’s eyes and connect, breathe, inhale, exhale.

BE with them.

See if you feel added value.

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