The Rome Museum

I had the incredible opportunity to visit the wonderful country of Italy last week. We visited different regions but stayed mostly in Rome. I was thinking of titling this post The Museums of Rome but that doesn’t really convey my intended message. There are indeed many museums in Rome. In fact it seemed to me that many of the buildings were museums. Certainly many buildings held artifacts from history. 

       

But as I walked around with my wife I couldn’t help but notice people looking up, looking over and taking picture upon picture. It was then that it occurred to me that Rome itself was a museum. The whole city, every inch of it!

I was a bit amused when one of our guides would describe a building as “modern” because it was build in the 1800’s. History is all around you in Rome. You can see it but more than that, you can feel it. You can easily imagine the city 100’s or 1000’s of years ago and wonder if the people who built some of the magnificent structures thought that people 100’s of years in the future would still be marveling at them.    

I think I could spend years there and still be amazed at what I saw every single day. Then I started to wonder if that was true. Would I really marvel at the history of the city if I lived there day after day? Do “native” Romans marvel The Coliseum as they drive past it on their way to work each day? Are they in awe of what surrounds them on a daily basis? 

They should because they live in an incredible city. 

My guess is that many of them take their splendid city for granted. That’s not a knock on the friendly people of Rome, that’s a knock on all of us because no matter where we live, too many of us take what we have for granted.

When was the last time you stopped to consider all that you have? When was the last time you stopped to consider the “gift” of the people in your life. When was the last time you told the most important person in your life just how important they are to you? 

What would you miss the most if you woke up tomorrow and had nothing and no one in your life? Are you taking those things and those people for granted? 

Write down what’s important to you. Keep pictures with you of the people who matter most. Don’t let those people and things move to the bottom of your mind. Keep them on top, invest some time each day remembering how and why they matter. Show the people who matter that you don’t take them for granted and appreciate what you have while you have it, for as long as you have it.

Our world is an amazing place. Each of our individual worlds is equally amazing if we’ll just stop long enough to look around and consider our lives without it. 

I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit Rome and Italy but as I return home I’m no less grateful for what I have here. I learned a lot on my trip to Europe, I hope one of the things I’ve learned is to appreciate what I have just a little more. 

The Value of Appreciation

One of the best ways to build strong, positive relationships with friends, relatives, business associates, or customers, is to show appreciation. Going out of our way to tell AND show people how much we appreciate what they have done, regardless of how unimportant or little it might have been, puts us in the minority of people.

I can virtually promise that someone in your life has done something for you that deserves a simple thank you or some small sign of appreciation. Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. Call at least one person a day, everyday, to thank him or her for something.

2. Send out five thank-you notes a week. There is power in the written word and a written thank you carries a ton more “weight” than even the hardiest verbal thank you. 

3. Don’t wait to show your appreciation. Do it now. Even the best of intentions isn’t as good as the poorest worded thank you. If someone deserves your appreciation then give it, the sooner the better.

4. Do what you do for others without the expectation of appreciation. When you want something back, that is not a gift – it’s a barter.

When you are appreciative it makes other people feel they want to do more for you even though that was not your agenda. When we fail to show appreciation, it makes others feel they want to do less or nothing for us.

Someone in your life feels a word of appreciation has been earned. Can you guess who it might be?  You have absolutely nothing to lose? A simple thank you doesn’t cost anything, and it can mean so much to people who have gone out of their way for you.

Don’t wait another moment, be thankful and show thanks now!