It is Mark Scharenbroich, CSP, CPAE's fault. Blame him for a simple idea as to how we can build a better world. It started probably five years ago when I brought my 91-year-old, starting-to-get-Alzheimer’s mom out from Florida to live with me in California.
Getting out of Ft. Lauderdale, thru security with multiple questions about metal pieces and medicines, was a breeze. I had the random body scan but he y- who cares when I am bringing Mom home to be with me!
Of course, we traveled coach. Any meals were non-existent but Mom was a trooper. She settled for peanuts and Coke. However, six hours later when Bill met us at the airport, Mom was not too happy.
This was not a better world for her. She was plain hungry.
But Bill brought my mail so I could go over it on the drive home. Voila! There was a holiday greeting from Mark and Susan! I have no idea what the message was but in the gold box of significant size nestled the map of Minnesota in dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate! Anti-oxidant. Better than snuff. I broke off a piece and before we were out of the parking lot, Mom had consumed Gran Marais and was headed for Duluth. She crunched into Bemidji by the time we got to the second exit and when we arrived home, Minneapolis/St.Paul showed dark and happy from her teeth. Mankato was destined for oblivion unless I could distract her.
Which brings me to now.
Mom has taken her chocolate map of Minnesota to heaven and I am left to wondering the very question this column poses: how do we create a better world?
Mark has since changed his strategy. It’s all about the “nice bike” with the Harley logo. Huh! Doesn’t stop me. Bikers beware! I just ate a fender and am bound and determined to demolish a rear tire before the weekend. Yes —mostly dark chocolate. (Are you reading Mark—I want ALL dark chocolate!)
Yet, it all gives me a moment to ponder the commonalities and common courtesies of this world.
What WOULD it take to build a better world? What if we looked at what we had in common rather than what divided us? Silly as it sounds, dark chocolate might be one of those common denominators.
What would it take if we took a moment to say “thank you” to people who made a difference in our lives—not because they sent us a paycheck but because their interest, kindness, attention, or advice made us sit a little taller, see a little clearer, hear a little better.
What would it be if we stopped thinking about ourselves and instead asked what would feed the souls of the people in our audience, the readers of our books, the subscribers of our tele-seminars?
Feed the souls. That is far different from teaching a skill set or learning a routine response to a customer query. It is a luscious as dark chocolate and as fleeting a breath. But in that moment, might sit eternity.