This past week I attended a celebration of the life of a wonderful man. In their eulogies friends and family praised his accomplishments. Well-deserved accolades from speakers and guests filled the air. It was a heart-warming celebration for a man who meant so much to so many.
Eulogy is described by Webster as A speech or words in praise of a person, or what that person has done, a term of endearment.
Guests, family, friends took time to share hugs. They remembered good times. It was a celebration of many lives. It included everyday eulogies among and about friends. The outpouring of affection was genuine and contagious. Smiles of appreciation were all around. And, this same scenario plays out at most celebrations where we honor deceased loved ones. Why does this euphoric feeling of fellowship fade so quickly?
Why do we hesitate to tell friends and family why we appreciate them? Why do we seldom acknowledge their gifts of time and talent? Why are we so stingy or shy with encouragement? Why do we wait until we are just part of a chorus?
Many of us in the ‘mature’ stiff upper lip and don’t be a softy generation still have difficulty being gushy. People must earn praise. They don’t get it for doing what they’re supposed to do. We wouldn’t want any big heads is or was our philosophy.
Many of our younger generations consider praising others unnecessary. They maintain the friend or family member KNOWS how they feel. Theirs is the age-old actions speak louder than words philosophy. Each generation is different, thank goodness.
I asked a friend to consider these big WHY's. She responded -- it’s not the praise, not the award, not the congratulations – it is the VALIDATION. Acknowledgement that what we are doing or have done is the right thing, that it matters. It encourages us to do more, try harder.
All the more reason to practice everyday eulogies. To inspire others to keep doing what deserves our gratitude and admiration.
I have a lot of catching up to do.
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