What does ‘love’ mean?

A dear friend of mine sent me a powerful piece last week, which I felt compelled to share. As busy mothers, fathers, leaders, and professionals, it is often easy to get lost in the hub-bub of the holidays and lose their real meaning…which I believe is love. A group of  people posed the question – “What does ‘love’ mean?” – to a group of 4- to 8-year-old children. Their answers are amazing. I wrote a blog several months ago about love and the integral place it holds in life AND business; as I believe love is indeed the glue that aligns and weaves our lives together. Yet, the purity of the answers from these young children struck an innocent and powerful chord. They were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. Let me know which one touches you most:

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”  Rebecca – age 8

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” Billy – age 4

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”  Karl – age 5

“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.”  Chrissy – age 6

“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”  Terri – age 4

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”  Danny – age 7

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”  Bobby – age 7

“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.”  Nikka – age 6

“Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.”  Noelle – age 7

“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”  Tommy – age 6

“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.’   Cindy – age 8

Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”   Elaine-age 5

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.”  Chris – age 7

“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”  Mary Ann – age 4

“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” (what an image!!)  Karen – age 7

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”  Jessica – age 8

The winner was a 4-year-old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”

It is a hope of mine, as we enter the Season of Giving, that we remember how to show, share, and experience love with each person/persons who cross our paths. Love need not be reserved for family or those we hold most dear. We have the opportunity to show love in our workplace, with our clients and customers, our competitors in the marketplace, strangers, and of course those random encounters that change our lives. We, at Alignment Inc., hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and that you will continue to experience and show love through the rest of 2012.

Oh, and please and remember: if you need or want a unique stocking stuffer for friends, teachers, co-workers, clients, or any special folks on your list – there are still a few copies of  the first printing of “Is This Seat Taken?” in stock. If you desire a signed copy, I am happy to help arrange this for you, as well!