It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to meet one of your real life heroes. Not a mainstream celebrity, but someone who you’ve watched and admired from a distance thinking, “Am I the only one who is so transfixed by this individual?” I have a few of those people that I fanboy over in my small brain’s sphere of consideration, people like Nicholas Kristof, John Stewart, Paulo Coehlo and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.
I’ve had the good fortune to get to know Nick Kristof over the years, and on a recent Sunday I was invited over to the apartment of Rabbi Sacks to spend time together one-on-one.
I first learned about him when my father-in-law sent around a video of a beautiful talk he’d given a few years ago. I remember being transfixed by the grace and eloquence of this man who served as the United Kingdom’s Chief Rabbi and spoke with such sincerity and compassion.
“Acts of kindness never die. They linger in the memory, giving lift to other acts in return.” -Rabbi Sacks (click to Tweet this).
From the moment he opened his front door, there was a warmth exuded by this amazing man that made me immediately feel at ease. We had a great time together, and soon his wife joined us as well. I could tell there was a tremendous love between them two, so I asked how long they’d been married.
Rabbi Sacks replied, “44 years.”
I then asked, “Since I’m just newly married, is there any particular secret that you think has been the key to building a successful marriage and life together?”
They looked at one another and smiled. It was as if they both knew the answer, but wanted to give the other person the opportunity to share it. The rabbi then explained, “The key to a happy marriage is to praise one another. At least once a day, take a moment to truly compliment your spouse. It’s a small, sacred daily ritual, and it has made all the difference for us.”
Later that evening I recognized the beautiful irony of what he had shared. In my mind, I showered this man with mental admiration and praise. Yet what he believed to be most essential to the most important relationship in his life was for him to speak aloud statements of admiration to his wife.
What exists around us is proof of what exists within us. (click to Tweet this).
To be revered by others, you have to first express reverence for those who bring love and joy into your life. And to impact those around you, you should share with someone today how much they’ve personally changed your life.
The Rabbi’s advice was so profoundly simple, and for more nuggets of wisdom you can listen to an amazing on-stage interview with him and three others religious scholars including His Holiness the Dalai Lama here.
To become a person of power, you must commit to empower others. (click to Tweet this).
If someone has even given you great advice, please share it below in the comments.