What's It All About Alfie?

I recently read the book “A Gentleman In Moscow” by Amor Towles. On Page 1, he writes “Well, where is our purpose now? Like so many questions I answer this one with the eye-averted peeling of a pear.” As with every chapter in this wonderful book, this is written with sophisticated humor in rich and poetic language.

With the start of the New Year, many people are asking the same question and of course, this comes with resolutions. It is estimated that more than 40% of Americans make New Year's resolutions and yet only 8% actually keep them. When I read about the various resolutions, plans, expectations, and commitments for the New Year, this song comes to mind...

Alfie by Burt Bacharach and Hal David

What's it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give

Or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie,
Then I guess it's wise to be cruel.
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie,

What will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie,
I know there's something much more,
Something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie,
Without true love we just exist, Alfie.
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie.
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie.

Is it just for the moment we live?

I don’t know about you, but I want a front row seat to the human connection! The only limits in life are the ones we make. Why shouldn’t we live as if we are dying, making every moment count. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake. Postpone nothing, appreciate everything.

Are we meant to take more than we give?

I am often reluctant to ask for help and don’t want to inconvenience others. When I was sick with pancreatic cancer, so many friends kept asking what they could do to help. They were loving, kind, heartfelt and yet at times, I was uncomfortable, not knowing how to respond. I didn’t really want anything. I have never believed we are meant to take more than we give, but when I did make a request, the most wonderful stories ensued revealing this to be a gift as much for the them as it was for me.

When we notice kindness and other gifts we’ve benefited from, our brains become wired to seek out the positives in any situation, even dire ones. Yes, life is an echo. What you send out you get back. What you give, you receive.

Are we meant to be kind?

The thoughtful little things you do each day have an accumulated effect on all of our tomorrows.  Kindness deepens the spirit and produces rewards that cannot be completely explained in words. It is an experience more powerful than words.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind. 
— Unknown

What will you lend on an old golden rule?

The golden rule is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated – it is a maxim of altruism that is found in many religions and cultures. I believe we should hold this true each and every day. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to.

As sure as I believe there's a heaven above.

When asked about heaven, Christina, age 12 says, "Everything is free, everyone lives in a mansion. No one has to go to work. There are no house payments." Well, not exactly! There is so much on this earth so much more wondrous to behold. Life is not a dress rehearsal, live as if this is all there is.

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.
— William Purkey

I believe in love. 

Never stop telling people they are loved, respected, needed, appreciated, and adored. The root of your problems vanish when you cherish others. 

Dali Lama said, “Love and compassion are necessities not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

In English, the name Alfie means sage, wise. I hope as we advance into 2018 we will take to heart these lyrics, and at the end of the year delightfully look back on our major achievements and joys from the year knowing that wisdom has brought kindness, gratitude, giving and love to everything we do.

This year, I hope you will:

  • Live long
  • Touch often
  • Hug frequently
  • Smile much
  • Laugh daily
  • Practice kindness
  • Kiss repeatedly
  • Trust eternally
  • Love infinitely

I hope your year is full of all things dream-worthy, loving and kind!

The best kind of love there is….my step grandsons! Max (3-1/2) and Ben (4)

The best kind of love there is….my step grandsons! Max (3-1/2) and Ben (4)