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The Three Golden Rules of Life : 

1. Appreciate
2. Apologize
3. Tell others how much they mean to you

I am a big fan of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books.  I like to read the narratives given in all those books because, from each and every instance, the author  points out the lesson to be learnt, or rather, he says that, every instance in our life teaches us a lesson which we people mostly miss out on. The lessons learnt may be trivial, but they would make all the difference. In the end it all comes down to the 3 rules mentioned. Let me illustrate how these rules actually work.

There is this person A. He takes a cab and found the driver to be in a very bad mood. So our A did not have much of a conversation going on with the driver since he did not want to be at the receiving end of his foul mood. A had an idea and just when he was about to alight he called the driver and said. “Good Morning mister,Thanks a lot for the ride. You’re doing a great job driving carefully in this traffic and thank you for bringing me safely here. I guess driving is a very challenging job to do on a daily basis, and Believe me you’re doing a great job. Have a great day.” He paid the driver and went away to his work. Later when he  narrated this incident to this friend, his friend said, it would never make a difference, that driver is going to be in his lousy mood. A said, “No, I know the human mentality, when someone talks well with us and says something good about us, it automatically boosts our own self esteem and we start feeling a lot better of ourselves. And when we feel good, all the bad mood will disappear”. The author agrees to what was said.

All of us like to be appreciated for all that we do. No matter whether the impact of our actions is too small to be noticed or too big to miss out, what we did, does count and when others take time from their ways to come and appreciate us, it makes us feel really good about ourselves. And when this comes at a time when we are upset about something, we would value it all the more. We feel happy when we have something to show to the world what we are capable of, it makes us feel good and we have another reason to smile.

Another instance concerning a Widower and his son. After the loss of his wife, the father is devastated and somehow he realizes that life has to go on, at least to take care of his son. Little did the father realize that the son was missing his mother more than what his father did. The father who was once so lively,was always in an irritable mood and lost his temper at the drop of the hat. He shouted at others to vent his anger and picked up quarrels with almost all. His son faced the wrath of his father’s, most of the times.This was the situation. One day, the father received a call from his son’s teacher, who complained that his son, despite being asked to come compulsorily had preferred not to come to school that day,and was demanding an explanation. The father apologized and promised that such things would not repeat . He went home and found out that his son was not at home and upon learning from his neighbors, he came to know that his son was playing in the park. The father brought the son back home and lashed him black and blue asking him why he did not go to school.After crying for about half an hour, the boy came up to the father and said, I’m sorry dad.

The dad asked for an explanation. The son said that, it was Mother’s day celebrations at school and every student was asked to bring their Mothers to school for some celebrations. He wanted to come and tell his father about it, but jut when he was about to tell him, he noticed that his father was terribly missing the loss of his dear one, and in an attempt ,not to make the father feel even bad about it, he decided to keep this away from him. That was the reason he did not go to school on that day. The father got emotional and realized how he’d reacted without listening to his son and was ashamed of himself. The father apologized to the son, earnestly, from the heart and  promised his son that he would try to be a better father to him and apologized for all that the boy had to go through because of  the father’s irrational temper.

Many people proudly say that they do not say sorry easily. I don’t think that is anything to be proud of. Instead of arguing who is right and who is wrong, it is better to apologize to the other and part ways without any hard feelings.We aren’t going to lose anything by saying sorry. We are just saying the word sorry to make it clear that we are sad, when we think that intentionally or inadvertently we caused them some harm. Life is too short and too good to allow egotism and other negative emotions to control us. Instead of having all that hatred at enmity bottled up, it is better to just apologize to the other, unmindful of whose fault it is.

The next instance is about a Businessman Father and his son.The father, being the head of a Business, is an extremely busy person and he has a very hectic schedule  and couldn’t spend much time with his family. He did not know much about his son. The son, sometimes missed his father, thinking about his younger days when his dad used to play with him and laugh and have so much fun with him and yearned for them. But he saw how busy his dad was and remained silent.Silently, the gap between the father and the son, grew wider and wider. The son mistook that he had done something wrong and that his father was angry with him. One day, his father had a heart attack and was asked by the doctors to take rest. Restless, he called for his son, to keep him company, who readily obliged for having got some time to spend with his dad, after so many years. As the father and son kept talking and laughing, just like old times, the father realized how much he missed his son and talking to him and realized that he had made a mistake, neglecting his family.So he told his son,

  ” Son, Everything happens for a good reason. I have a loving wife and son and it took me a heat attack to realize how I was not making use of God’s gifts to me. I am extremely sorry for not having spent time with you, I should have kept some time exclusively for you, I did not, I’m sorry. I just wanted to say, no matter what, I always love you my son. I’ve not had a chance to tell this before and I don’t want to wait for any other chance to say this, For God knows if I would have any. You are always my little son and You are the light of my life.” The son who was also teary eyed told his Father that he loved him as much as his father did, and because of his hectic schedule, he had a wrong notion that his father had stopped loving him and that he was clear of his father’s intentions, now that his father told him about it.

Life is very unpredictable. I’m not being pessimistic, just practical.Anything can happen anytime. I would die peacefully for having lived a good life than having a feeling of guilt, that,I should have told my parents how much i loved them, that I should have told my enemy turned friend that I was sorry and he was always my best friend, that I should have told my friend how much of a support he was to me and how much he meant for me. To avoid having all these thoughts, it is better, to tell others how much they mean to us, then and there, without delay, without hesitation, without ego.

Just follow these simple, yet effective Rules and you’ll end up feeling a lot better.