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When Was The Last Time You Called Your Mother?

By , August 29, 2012

Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten tremendous feedback from my readers about suggestions for future LTB topics. While most of them were obviously business-related, there was one particular topic that didn’t quite fit the traditional “business” genre – but is still so very important.

And I would like to introduce that topic – and the significance it holds – with the following true story.

It was a busy Mother’s Day at the florist shop when a wealthy businessman driving a shiny Cadillac pulled into the parking lot. His elderly mother lived eighty miles away and he was hoping the florist would agree to make a special flower delivery to her distant location. As he got out of the car, he noticed a little girl sitting on the curb sobbing softly.

He asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars.” 

The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I’ll buy you a rose.”

He bought the little girl her red rose and then ordered a bouquet for his mother, which the florist agreed to deliver. As they were leaving the shop, he offered the girl a ride home. She said, “Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.”

They got into the car and she directed down a narrow road with lots of trees. When they finally reached the clearing, it became obvious that it was the entrance to a cemetery. The little girl climbed out of the car, and with tears in her eyes, gently placed the soft red rose on a freshly dug grave.

The businessman tried to swallow the lump forming in his throat and hold back his tears, but was simply unable. He slowly turned his car around and drove back to the florist, where he canceled the delivery order, picked up a beautiful bouquet of flowers…and drove the eighty miles to his mother’s house to deliver them in person.

As you may have realized, the emails I’ve been getting are from people bemoaning the fact that they simply don’t have enough time to spend with the people they love. Not intentionally, of course. But the everyday concerns of work and business just cause them to forget about those whom they hold so dear.

Frankly, it can be a real challenge to properly balance work and family. I know that I myself deal with this issue on a daily basis and am sure that you do as well. So I did some thinking and came up with a few simple ways that can help us all stay as focused on our families as we are on our business.

Start A Habit: Make it a habit to reach out and call one designated family member every single day to say hello. That short daily conversation can go a long way toward maintaining the relationship and strengthening the bond.

Always Stay Involved: Don’t miss out on all the milestones being celebrated by your family. Remember the birthdays, anniversaries and graduation dates of your loved ones by marking it in your appointment calendar…and then you’ll never forget to buy your little niece the Elmo birthday present she so badly wants.

Spread The Word: Keeping up with your family is important. But don’t forget about the other people you interact with on a daily basis. Take time to have a meaningful conversation with those you deal with and treat them as being more than just the “mailman” or “crossing guard” or “cashier” – treat them as extended family.

In all, I do hope that these ideas can be utilized to help us all better remember and connect with the thing that is truly most important: family.

So please, when you finish reading this email, quickly pick up the phone and call your spouse, sibling, child, long-lost relative living across the ocean…or your mother.

Onwards and upwards,

Meny Hoffman

P.S. Do you have a special way of keeping in touch with your family during the busy workday? Let me know about it by responding in the comments and I just might share it in a future LTB article.

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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