I was finally all packed and ready to drive to Orlando for the highly anticipated Men’s Momentum retreat. Not really knowing what to expect at the program I checked the packing list for suggestions and downloaded the page. It said pack comfortable clothing. That’s my kind of list and I knew that I was in for something special. I had timed the trip from Boca Raton perfectly. If I’d leave in the next few minutes I’d arrive and register before the event would begin. I ran into the kitchen to grab a snack for the road and then I heard the noise. I had to make a decision then and there should I stay or should I go? Before packing my bag I decided to be the good husband and remembered what Lori suggested to our group in Jerusalem. Load the load dishwasher and don’t leave the dirty plates and cups on the table. But I had just realized that if I’m leaving for two days it might be nice to also unload the dishwasher and put everything away once it’s clean. But if I delayed the conference would start and I’d be late and I’d miss the opening talk. I also didn’t know when the dishwasher cycle would be done. So I took my snack and pulled up a chair and sat in front of the dishwasher and just waited.
When it comes to being there for others and navigating the relationships we have with our friends and family, we sometimes forget and naturally think that relationships are supposed to be transactional. Similar to a business relationship that requires me to consider if I do something for you then at some point you will do something for me. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Real relationships, the ones that we truly care about and want to enhance will only grow when we continue to do meaningful things for one another even when we are not expecting anything in return. Appreciating and amplifying all the virtues and placing the spotlight on them even when they might not even know who is standing behind the spotlight.
At the retreat, we got to see a large group of very successful strong men learn a lot about themselves and how to navigate through some very challenging circumstances. What made it easier for each of us was that we could be there and count on one another for support. It’s easy living in a world where we learn the value of caring about ourselves and have to actively work hard to push back and put continuous effort into caring about others even more. In this case, it was easier because most of us didn’t even know each other so how could we possibly expect anything in return. But whether it was teamwork or group activities or sessions to work out some serious issues, we succeeded in large part to the brotherhood we shared with each other. Different men from different communities with different sets of challenges were there to grow and had no reason to fear because we could rely on one another. There’s always an opportunity to help those around us and if you’re not sure what to do next just stand still and listen carefully, maybe you’ll just hear the hum of the dishwasher.