Yesterday, while at work I heard the disturbing news about Tim Russert. The host of ‘Meet the Press’ had suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of 58. Like most Americans I was shocked. I understand that death is inevitable, and our entire life is essentially leading up to it, yet the news was shocking because Tim Russert seemed to still have been in the prime of his career. The senior vice president of NBC News was arguably the best in the business. His weekly show on Sunday mornings is one I hardly ever miss. Nevertheless, as the entire news media started to deal with this shocking reality, I began to reflect on the situation, and about the great qualities I knew about the man and how we can all learn from it, especially on this Father’s day weekend.
We invite celebrities and news personalities into our lives and in time it seems like we know them personally. There are books they write, or that are written about them that give us insight about their true self. In his book titled “Big Russ and Me” Tim talks about his father and the lesson he taught him about life and how he is in effect trying to pass these lessons to his son. In the same book Tim Russert shares his experience about the time he sent his son off to college. While dropping his son off to college Tim hands his son a letter expressing how he feels about him. He expresses how proud he is of him, how much confidence he has in him, and that he will always be there no matter what life may bring his way. In a recent ‘Meet the Press’ show Tim, with pride in his eyes, sent his congratulations to the class of 2008 of Boston College with one kid in particular—his son.
Given how demanding the line of work Tim Russert was in, there is no doubt he took the time to express the great deal of love he had for his family. In addition, his books points out to a man who valued family and family life. No matter how hectic our schedule can get and as we all know, life in America is often challenging; we must take time-out to reflect on the important things in life. As we work hard and strive to better our lives, let us take time out to reflect on what we have and those most important to us. How often do we show our appreciation? Ask yourself, if your volume in this life was to suddenly come to an end, will you be satisfied with the way you would leave some of the chapters? That is in fact the lesson we should all learn from this.
I would guess that of all the material things that Tim may have given to his son, the one that matters most—especially in a time such as this—is that letter expressing his feeling toward him. Don’t let the everyday grind and hustle get in the way of expressing your appreciation to those around you. I will conclude this blog by taking my own advice and reaching for the phone.