By ROY W. HARRIS
While growing up I remember hearing a bluegrass mountain tune titled “Give Me The Flowers While I’m Living” with an interesting message.
One verse and refrain from the song said: In this world is where we need our flowers, A kind word to help us get along, If you can’t give me flowers while I’m living, Please don’t send them when I’m gone. Won’t you give me my flowers while I’m living, Let me enjoy them while I can, Please don’t wait till I’m readyto be buried, And then slip some flowers in my hand.
The song emphasized how important it is for people to know they’ve made a difference in the lives of others. The message of the song is to let others know while they are still with us rather than wishing we had said something after death takes them on and it’s too late.
Proverbs 3:27 in the Bible tells us that we should not withhold good from those who deserve it, when we have the power to show good to them. This is a simple principle with a broad application. In the framework of this article it could be said like this: if there are some deserving people who’ve impacted your life, and there is a way you can let them know, it’s your duty to tell them.
After receiving news that a dear man who’d been my teacher, mentor, colleague and friend had passed away, I began to think not only of him but many others who’d impacted me and helped mold and shape my life. I realized that even though they’d contributed much to building the total person I am today and I appreciated all they’d done to stretch and build me as a person, I’d never let them know what a tremendous impact they’d made on my life. This caused me to begin thinking about the importance of Proverbs 3:27 and how I should do something about it. A number of people immediately came to mind.
I began a list of those people and titled it, “People who have influenced my life.” I jotted down specific things I’d learned from those people and how each one had impacted me. My goal was to try and think of at least 10 people. Later in this article I’ll list the 10 and some specific ways they made a difference in my life.
I would encourage you to consider doing something similar. Here’s a simple plan on how to you can say thank you to those special people. (1) Spend time thinking about special people who’ve impacted your life and make a list of those people. (2) Beside each person’s name, jot down one or two things you learned and how they impacted your life (and may still be). (3) Determine those who may possibly be contacted. (4) Develop a plan for contacting each one (email, card, letter, phone call, etc.). (5) Contact these people one at a time to say thank you while keeping your list of how each one impacted you handy. (6) Jot down notes of those you are able to reach and how they responded to you. (7) When you finish, take a minute to thank the good Lord for all those special people. You’ve had time to think about some of those special people who’ve made profound contributions to who you are as a person.
Now it’s your turn. The old Biblical expression do unto others still remains true today but let’s turn it around a little. Others have already done unto (invested in) you, now it’s your turn to invest in the lives of others.
Every day in small or large ways you impact the lives of others. Keep in mind people are listening and watching what you say and do and how you react to life’s daily frustrations, disappointments, triumphs and failures. You’ve probably already influenced people in ways yet to be realized by you. Who knows, maybe one day someone will call or email you a handful of thank-you’s and you may find out what a difference your life truly is making. It’s time to say Thank You. Go ahead, give some of those flowers out now. Don’t just take my word for it. Remember that great Biblical Principle in Proverbs 3:27.