“Don’t wait for people to die to send them flowers”.
(Reverend Simmons, New Bethel AME Church)
It is amazing the things we retain from our childhood. I attended weekly Sunday school and church services at New Bethel AME church while growing up in Jasper, FL. I am sure Reverend Simmons said some other amazing things but the quote above always stuck with me. Never understood it as a kid so maybe that is why it stuck with me all these years.
Thought it was a weird saying until I fully understood his meaning. It can be interpreted multiple ways, but he was reminding us to cherish/celebrate the people in our lives while we have them. Waiting for a tragic incident is a bit late to let people know what you think about them.
I decided to write this post 3 days after Kobe Bryant, his daughter and friends died in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles. I am not much of an NBA fan but watched Kobe during his Hall of Fame NBA career and more intently after he retired. He ventured into business, screen writing, venture capital investments and his sports academy as part of his life after basketball. He became successful in these endeavors because he displayed a thirst for knowledge and sought out mentors to learn new things. He continued to look for ways to get better and make a difference in the world. Believe he was on the verge of expanding his portfolio in the entertainment world but never got a chance to complete this portion of his legacy.
I will not dive much further into Kobe’s life, but his unexpected passing brought me back to what Reverend Simmons reminded us EVERY Sunday—Do not wait for people to die to send them flowers.
I use a lot of quotes in my daily Walk into the Future, but I am sure my tree branches have never heard me use this quote with them. May seem weird to share so much with them but not this one aspect of my background. Allow me to provide a bit of clarity and how I leverage the quote in all my interactions.
I take my role as a tree seriously and believe I should model positive things for my tree branches. I also want to continue to make a difference daily. So, I provide theoretical flowers every day to my people!
I make a point to text, call, email, LinkedIn, visit or carrier pigeon (LOL) someone daily to provide them their flowers. May look like:
- Happy Monday!
- Happy Friday!
- Go (insert name)!
- How are you?
- How are your students doing?
- How’s the family?
I could add more to the list but believe you get the message. It may be small things but once I understood what Reverend Simmons was telling us I discovered a ton of ways to provide flowers daily. Some of you may prefer real flowers but I cannot afford the daily costs so guess you will have to be happy with my texts, calls, emails, LinkedIn, visits and hopefully those dang pigeons arrive soon! 😊
So, do me a favor, look around and identify who you need to send flowers to and get busy! Thank you!
“It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So, don’t take it lightly”.
“Live for yourself and you live in vain; live for others and you will live again”.
Happy Mother’s Day!!!