ROCHESTER, Minn. — Many high school seniors got to know about their college decisions the past week. We will be attending their graduation in a couple of months. I often wonder what good wishes to give to the "almost grownups."
Do I wish them the riches of the world or unlimited success? How about wishing they find their meaning and purpose in life? Sometimes, however, wishing them what they want may not work, since often they don’t know what they want!
I think I know it now, what wishes to give them — at least silently.
“May you find a world that truly loves you.”
Success, fame, wealth, meaning — all of these and many more are of little meaning if we do not perceive love flowing toward us in the world we live in. What is the secret to receiving more of this love?
Generate love in one of its expressions every day. Working with a passion for serving your colleagues, patients, and others shows your love for them. Treating others with care and compassion also shows that love. Accepting others, being grateful for them, finding them meaningful, and forgiving them for their mistakes are other expressions of love.
The more you generate love for yourself and those around you, the more of it will reflect back to you. The world is a wonderful reflector in that sense. Sometimes there is a delay, but it surely will come.
As a general principle, it is good to remember that the love you give is the only love you get to keep.
Over the past week, some of the high-school seniors may have matched to their preferred college; some may not have. No matter where they go, their eventual happiness (and success) will depend less on where they go and more on whether they love the world they enter and whether the world loves them back.
I pray for you and your children that may you live a life, so that at the end of it, when you look back, you reflect: "I sure was loved."
Dr. Amit Sood answers your questions about stress, resilience, happiness, relationships, and related topics in his column. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.