People often ask me about books I recommend so from time to time I write a blog about some recommendations. For Valentines Day, I am writing about All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps. StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit “whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.” It is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind—check it out here.
Like Epiphany, they are collecting people’s life stories from all over, from all ages and walks of life, and are encouraging people to share them, not only because we all have valuable stories to share with one another, but it also tends to be an important event for both the teller—and the listener.
This collection of accounts about the many journeys that relationships can take is remarkable. I could not put it down. There were many stories that had a great impact on me, but I think the one I excerpted below had one of the greatest impacts (no matter how many times I read it, I can’t keep my eyes from welling up), and I think it contains wonderful, smart advice, especially for Valentine’s Day—a day to be reminded of, and express our excitement and gratitude for, our relationships—romantic or not. Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful, celebratory day.
Excerpted from All There Is
Leroy A. Morgan, 85
Remembers his late wife, Vivian
“My wife and I were in Philadelphia, and we saw a sign that said SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE. I will never forget it: It had six points to always say to your wife or husband and the first one was YOU LOOK GREAT. The second one was CAN I HELP? The third one was: LET’S EAT OUT. The fourth one was I WAS WRONG. And the fifth one was I AM SORRY. But the last and most important one was I LOVE YOU. That was it. There were six statements, and it said if you follow that, you’ll have a successful marriage. So we followed it, and we did have a successful marriage.
“It lasted fifty-three years, two months, and five days. It’s been rough, but every morning when I wake up she’s included in my prayers and I talk to her every night when I go to bed. She was something. One thing: If they ever let me in those pearly gates, I’m going to walk all over God’s heaven until I find that girl. And the first thing I’m going to do is ask her if she would marry me, and do it all over again.”
6 Phrases to Use for a Successful Relationship
You Look Great.
Can I Help?
Let’s Eat Out.
I Was Wrong.
I Am Sorry.
I LOVE YOU.
Beautiful. Thank you, Mr. Morgan.
Elise Ballard’s book, Epiphany, contains amazing stories of fascinating people from from all walks of life resulting from her asking everyone the same question: What is Your Greatest Epiphany In Life? With 100′s of interviews from world-renown figures, thought leaders and performers such as Maya Angelou, Dr. Oz, Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra and Barry Manilow to people such as a former inmate, leading psychologists, an elementary school teacher, homemakers, business leaders and many more, these epiphany stories not only contain great wisdom and insights but will also perhaps inspire epiphanies or cause you to remember epiphanies of your own. You can also visit her website, EpiphanyChannel.com.February 14, 2012