Some time ago one of xxxxxxxxx’s co-workers approached him in an emotional state. After a long, dramatic story, the co-worker ended with:
“Can you believe our boss said that to me?”
First consider that the co-worker probably did deserve the reprimand from the boss.
Then consider that there was some obvious advice that could be given to help the co-worker best proceed.
“Man, that sounds tough.”
For xxxxxxxxx knew that the emotion of the situation was the only relevant detail – not advice, not being right.
So with that four-word response, xxxxxxxxx allowed the co-worker to feel heard in an environment filled with understanding and one free from judgment.
I went to xxxxxxxxx with xxxxxxxxx. I lived in the same dorm as him. I then lived in the same off-campus house with him. We then worked the same job and lived together for three more years in Chicago and then even spent a year together in this here great state of California.
So I think I come from a legit enough position to say that the powerful service xxxxxxxxx provided his co-worker is xxxxxxxxx’s normal way of operating.
Many of you in this audience have surely experienced, in both big and small ways, his signature trait: xxxxxxxxx cares about you in not just a deep way, but in a way that offers relief from the ever-present doubt that too often controls our mindsets.
While he’s probably a little busy this evening, I encourage you to test his ability the next time a problem arises. Bring your issue to him and I’d wager you will feel better, even if you don’t suddenly have a solution.
This is a tremendous quality in a friend, and, I’d have to imagine, a foundational trait for building a strong marriage.
I first met xxxxxxxxx at a Halloween party where she was in the middle of a multi-year effort to show the many sides of the wonderful Marty McFly. This unique undertaking was more than enough to deliver a positive first impression.
As xxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxx grew closer, I started seeing her more frequently, and my positive opinions moved beyond first impressions into something more substantive.
And by substantive, I mean she passed the ultimate test
Let’s say I’m at happiness level 7 out of 10.
Let’s then say that xxxxxxxxx calls wanting to do something fun. I inch up to 8 out of 10.
Then, right as we are about to get off the phone, he says, “Oh, is it cool if xxxxxxxxx joins?”
It’s this instant when I can best appreciate my “gut feeling” or “intuition” about a friend’s partner.
Just observe that moment after xxxxxxxxx asks. Am I glad xxxxxxxxx is joining or not? Am I moving closer to 10 out of 10?
Yes I am. Always. Truly.
The same must also be true for xxxxxxxxx as well. Just think of how he waited until the very end to ask. Think how waiting until the end is exactly where so many of us bury the most important questions, where we reveal what matters most. In this case, what matters most: xxxxxxxxx.
See, xxxxxxxxx is not one to show his preferences with over-the-top rhetoric. That’s fine – just look at his actions.
Like when he first met xxxxxxxxx and he attempted to downplay his interest, only to pursue her aggressively.
Or when he, a person of “safe” clothing choices, decided to fully embrace costumes when dressing up with xxxxxxxxx.
Or as a man who doesn’t present himself as some great romantic, proposing in a crushingly romantic way.
And maybe, actually, he truly isn’t usually those things – an aggressive pursuer, a costume fanatic, a romantic – but that’s what xxxxxxxxx has brought out of him. This is perhaps the best thing about a relationship: your partner helps you grow, and that’s what xxxxxxxxx has done for xxxxxxxxx.
As for the rest of us, there’s much more happening in this relationship that makes it special than we’ll ever truly be able to know, but we can know this: life is better when this great couple is around.
In the late 13th century Pope Boniface VIII was looking for the greatest artist to paint St. Peter’s church.
Artists of profound skill submitted their finest pieces in hopes of earning the commission.
The winner submitted something seemingly simple: a circle. The courier actually thought it was a joke.
But Pope Boniface was wise. He soon understood that the circle was perfect, drawn freehand, and was thus a remarkable achievement.
And so it is with marriage. Seemingly simple – two people fall in love and commit themselves to each other – but pulling it off well, so well that it indeed seems simple, is nothing short of incredible.
Let these circles serve as reminders of both the simplicity and complexity of marriage.
And of the incredible things you can do together.