I’ve been thinking about my friend, mentor, and coach, Dr. Danny Friedland, who passed away 18 months ago after a year-long battle with brain cancer. Following Danny’s death, there was a moving memorial service for him in his backyard. Here are eight brief reflections.
1: “Live a loving life” was Danny’s invitation to all who knew him. His purpose was to “scale” the giving of love. He encouraged us to say “I love you” to more of the people we love and care about. I will.
2: Danny’s preferred way to greet someone was to give them a hug. But not just any hug. He preferred to hug on the left side rather than the customary right because doing so makes it heart-to-heart. Try it.
3: Danny focused all his attention on you when he spoke with you. He was fully present. Fully engaged. That is one of my most important goals for my life.
4: Danny approached every conversation with an open heart. He began each interaction by sharing his heartfelt appreciation for the other person, group, or gathering. Such a powerful way of being in the world.
5: “Pause. Notice. Choose,” Danny would say. There is a big difference between reacting to circumstances and choosing our response to them.
6: When his sons would come to him with a problem or challenge, Danny wouldn’t give them an answer. Instead, he’d provide a framework to enable them to make their own decision. Parenting at its best.
7: His younger son said during his eulogy, “My dad always wanted to be with me. He always wanted to spend time with me. He wanted to love me.” So beautiful. A high bar for all of us as parents.
8: When his older son asked how he could carry his legacy and make Danny proud, he answered, “You already are. All I ask is that you live a loving life.”
Reflection: What does it mean to live a loving life?
Action: Do it.