It was amazing to see the universal outpouring of love, empathy and compassion that the death of Kobe Bryant (his daughter and 5 other passengers) produced in the world. He is still being honored and memorialized. It gives me renewed hope and a stronger belief that we can and will do better. It helped me to remember that in a society so divided, where our values and character are challenged and confronted on a daily basis – why we are here and what we are to be doing while here.Be Loving!

Where does that well of emotion come from?  Where is it stored?  How does one get to it?  Is it available to us every day or only on special occasions? That inner source of love – that overwhelming, positive inner feeling – is available all the time. You can access it at any moment. Give it, share it, or keep it contained within you.

My question to you is what are you doing with this powerful, incredible source of love?  How often do you share and express it? Does some well-known personality have to die to stir it?  Do you know that it only grows through expressing it?  Do you have it so well defended that it seldom comes out?Here are a few typical excuses that I hear: “no one else is doing it – why don’t they go first – I’m afraid to make myself vulnerable – I’ll start crying – they know how I feel about them.”  What would you regret not having expressed to them if you had to stand by their coffin?

There is an incredible positive lift – a body jolt that you can actually feel when you express your love to someone – when you are looking for nothing in return. If you are having trouble expressing all your positive love for people, you have to start off practicing it in small, unique ways to strangers. For example; hold the door for the person coming behind you…not just the convenient next person, but if there is a person coming nearby, wait those few seconds and smile; when ordering coffee at the drive-up, treat the voice on the other end as a human being; when there used to be toll takers on the highway, you could randomly pay for the person in the car behind you. Just care, love the person nearby. Then it will spread and you will find that you are happier living life that way every day.

I saw a great You Tube video with Ryan Estis on “pouring a cup of coffee” which perfectly describes this concept. Ryan is a business consultant who helps companies improve customer relationships.  What he is teaching top business executives can easily be applied to our family relationships. He asks, “are we working, planning and strategizing on how to promote customer relationships and satisfaction – so that so that your customer will benefit from the experience with you and comeback.      Wow!  I wonder if we sometimes take members of our family for granted rather than creating happiness by expressing our love for them. If you watch the 5 minute video(Ryan Estis, Cup of Happiness) Lily, the coffee shop employee, turns the most mundane business transaction (buying a cup of coffee at an airport) into an interaction of value. Ryan will never forget that coffee because it wasn’t a cup of coffee, she poured him “a cup of happiness.”  Lily isn’t selling coffee…she sees herself engaging in a valued human interaction. Ryan Estis is saying, “every business touch point is an opportunity for your employees to add value and advance the relationship.

Can we show up everyday for our family members, like Lily, being the best version of ourselves?  It takes awareness and commitment.  Can we turn mundane interactions with family members – like holding a door for an extra second, like putting some feeling into our hello’s and good-bye’s, like anticipating that little extra or giving one more kind word or smile like Lily demonstrated?

Like so many people who reached inside, deep down, and showed their loving selves for Kobe.  We don’t need a tragedy. That’s the choice we have at all times.  It is thankfully up to us.  We don’t need anybody’s help or permission.  Just do it!

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