Michael Jackson Eulogy: “I didn’t Know …”

michael jacksonExtravaganza and spectacle aside, there is no question that anyone listening to the eulogies for Michael Jackson learned a lot more about the man.

I certainly didn’t know he donated hugely to widespread charities and causes; that he laughed – a lot;  that he was a caring and excellent friend and mentor; that he loved his family as much as they say he did; or that his very favorite song was “Smile”. (I also didn’t know that this song was written by Charlie Chaplin.)

EulogyIf you think about eulogies, consider this question: why is it we only get the fuller picture of  any person – whether a celebrity or not – at their funerals?  

As example, immediately after my brother, sons and I gave eulogies for my father in an overflowing funeral chapel in 1999, people came up to say, “I didn’t know…” or “I had no idea…”.  The son of my dad’s close friend admitted that, although he’d known my dad for most of his life, he now realized how much he could have learned from dad’s wisdom and only wished that he’d asked him more questions when he was alive.

MINING YOUR HUMAN RESOURCESTruth is, how much do we really know about our family members, friends, colleagues and acquaintances? Why don’t we know more about each other’s  wonderful qualities and rich resources?

A friend whose son invited her to a hugely successful community event he was instrumental in developing admitted, “I didn’t know he was into this.”

There are strategies to get to know each other better.  As a radio interviewer with a significant Curiosity Factor, I ask questions in advance of each broadcast logo-radio-show7about the guest’s history, background,  philosophy, and experiences. 

By honoring the individual with my full attention – listening without distraction  my guests know I’m interested – and respond accordingly.

I transfer that interest to anyone I know and to people I meet. Not only have I found within them so much useful information, their personal experiences resonate with my soul.  They also offer tons of skills and lessons that I can apply to so many aspects of my life.  And, hopefully, I return the favors.

Lessons Learned

1. Meaningful conversations  include  ideas, philosophies, and psychologies (not only a list of previous and upcoming events and gossip).

2. So much is learned by exploration and digging deep.

 3. Most people have abilities, talents, experiences and knowledge that their personal and professional networks don’t know at all.

 The next consideration is, “How much do we know about ourselves?” That’s a question for another time….

Creatively Yours,

Nellie Jacobs

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Through her Igniting Imagination programs and services, creativity consultant Nellie Jacobs stimulates creative-thinking, providing tools to individuals, organizations and companies to help ‘mine’ hidden or latent human resources for the personal and professional betterment of all.

All Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs talk radio episodes are numbered and archived for your listening pleasure, inspiration and convenience at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Igniting-Imagination.

Seasons 1 and 2 guest photos, profiles, topics and links to their episodes are posted on at www.ignitingimagination.com. Just follow the links.

Twitter:@nelliejacobs                                                                                                                    Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Celebrating 2 Successful Seasons!!

To celebrate the completion of Seasons 1 and 2 of my Internet radio interview series, on June 9th, 2009 I was pleased to host a dinner for 14 show guests who lived in the general vicinity.
Igniting Imagination Guest Celebration Dinner June 9, '09

Igniting Imagination Guest Celebration Dinner June 9, '09

In this group photo, from left to right are:  Marci Segal, Kevin Loberg, Wendy Woods, Marty Lager, Sandy Naiman, Moira Sutton, Claire Sookman, me, Cliff Sutton , Sandy Offenheim, Thelma Barer-Stein, Marlene Walker, Joel Walker, Michele Mele and, in front, Marla Lukofsky. (Click on any photo to see an enlargement.)

On arrival, each guest was handed a place card with their name to reserve their spot at the dining table, a name tag, a pencil, and a sheet of paper with an icebreaker exercise.

Ice-breakers, name tags, etc. ready and waiting....

Ice-breakers, name tags, etc. ready and waiting....

Lesson Learned #1: We can have conversations with anyone if only we know what to ask.

The purpose of the icebreaker was to (1) give people an opportunity to meet and talk with everyone, (2) demonstrate how each of us has so many points of reference,  (3) open the door for interaction and exchange of information, and (4) indicate the various ways we are connected.

Lesson Learned #2: If you show a genuine interest, people like to talk about themselves and share their histories.

Whether guests were introverted or outgoing all bravely took part, fully buying into the concept. The hour before dinner was filled with laughter and conversation as all were busy talking, sharing, introducing each other and helping fill in the forms. It turned out that many people had much in common, several knew each other previously and some made connections for the future. By the time we sat for dinner, there was such a spirit, laughter and camaraderie that permeated the rest of the evening.

Mary Minaudo sent her regrets and this beautiful bouquet of roses-my favourite flower!

Mary Minaudo sent her regrets and this beautiful bouquet of roses-my favourite flower!

Try the challenge. Download the icebreaker: Radio Guest Celebration Dinner-Matching Game. Match the columns. I made the mistake of asking about allergies and food dislikes and received back a considerable list – which became part of the game.

Lesson Learned # 3: We’re aware of only a fraction of what there is to know about the people in our lives.

How well do you know your family members, colleagues or friends?  Interview them and create your own game. If you do it in the style shown here, you can have as many columns and categories as your wish. For example, in one column, list their names. In another, list degrees, qualifications, volunteer or work positions each person has held. In a third, list a current job title or theme and, in the fourth, such items as passions, positive characteristics, favorite pastimes, colours, foods, movies, TV programs or books.

Getting to know each other more deeply not only adds to the enjoyment of relationships, but is also a process that can  teach us a lot about ourselves.

Creatively Yours,

Nellie

______________

Through her Igniting Imagination programs and services, creativity consultant Nellie Jacobs stimulates creative-thinking, providing tools to individuals, organizations and companies to help ‘mine’ hidden or latent human resources for the personal and professional betterment of all.

All Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs talk radio episodes are numbered and archived for your listening pleasure, inspiration and convenience at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Igniting-Imagination.

Seasons 1 and 2 guest photos, profiles, topics and links to their episodes are posted on at www.ignitingimagination.com. Just follow the links.

Twitter:@nelliejacobs                                                                                                                    Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs