Editorials by Robert Kirwan

Hold Everything!
I’ve Been Looking For A Place Like This All My Life!

          I once met a farmer who had lived on the same farm all his life. It was a good farm with fertile soil, but with the passing of the years, the farmer began to think that maybe there was something better for him. Every day he found a new reason for criticizing some feature of his old farm. Finally, he decided to sell. He listed the farm with a real estate broker who promptly prepared an advertisement emphasizing all the many advantages of the acreage: ideal location, modern equipment, healthy stock, acres of fertile ground, high yields on crops, well-kept barns and pens, nice two-story house on a hill above the pasture.
                When the real estate agent called to read the ad to the farmer for his approval prior to placing it in the local paper, the farmer listened carefully. When the real estate agent had finished, the farmer cried out, AHold everything. I=ve changed my mind. I=m not going to sell. Why, I=ve been looking for a place just like that all my life!”
                I think you will agree that each of us, from time to time, complain about things such as our home, our car, our property or our job. As human beings, it is natural to want the best things in life.

                Nevertheless, the next time you find yourself seriously questioning one of your possessions, sit down and write up a very convincing imaginary newspaper ad that could be placed in the For Sale section. See what happens when you describe the positive things about this possession of which you are so critical. See what happens when you try to find someone else to take your job. You certainly won’t be including any negative points in the imaginary newspaper ad. In order to sell something, you have to describe only the very best qualities. When you read the imaginary ad back to yourself, see what you think about the possession now. You, too, may be like the farmer who suddenly discovered that his farm was exactly what he was looking for, but he was too focused on the things that were wrong to notice all of the good points.

                Take this exercise to a higher level the next time you find yourself questioning the relationship you have with your spouse, a parent, a child, or a friend. Human relationships have their ups and downs, so it is natural to wonder at times if you might be better off with someone else. If you ever find yourself in this frame of mind, sit down in a quiet place and write an “obituary” for that person. Experience the powerful emotions that will surely overcome you when you imagine having to sum up a loved one’s life in a few paragraphs that could fit in a newspaper obituary. Notice how easy it is to come up with nice things to say about the person.  Notice how much “goodness” there “was” in this person. When it sinks in that some day you may actually have to go through this exercise “for real”, wipe the tears from your eyes and then go and spend quality time with that person. Enjoy the moment and realize just how lucky you are to have such a wonderful person to love.

                It’s great to be back! Have a good week!


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