The Love You Take = The Love You Make

As The Beatles so aptly pointed out, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

What’s had me thinking about this line in particular? Well, my husband, Keith, and I have been on vacation in San Francisco and—as is so often the case—his gift of the gab has been greasing the wheels of our journey.

In general, Keith befriends everyone he meets.  When we travel this talent manifests into everything from unrequested upgrades to unexpected discounts….

Those of us who don’t have his talent are often mystified by it (My brother-in-law has been known to say, “Look at that! Look at that! How does he do it? I’ve never seen such a genial guy.”) Having been exposed to it for some time, I’ve figured out a few pieces of the puzzle: 

  1. Notice something particular they are bringing to the job they’re doing: For example, this trip we flew on July 4th so it was natural to appreciate people for working on a holiday. Recognizing others’ lives/interests/concerns goes a long way—going beyond “Thank you” to a specific reason for your thanks lets others know they are truly being seen.

  2. Offer something about yourself (beyond information related to your need): Too often, our focus on what we want— our hotel room, our sandwich, our destination—causes us to treat people like robots designed to make our dreams come true. In this case, Keith has been mentioning to anyone and everyone, “I used to live in San Francisco for 20 years…” an open-ended opener that has elicited all kinds of great reactions/responses.

  3. Tell them they did a good job.  This is one that seems so easy/small that it’s easy to think it doesn’t make a difference, but think how happy you are when your boss or your trainer or your partner says, “Good job!”  And time and again I’ve seen people light up when Keith says, “You did a really good job.”

Because, as is so often the case, the littlest things can make the biggest difference in someone’s day… in other words, the love you take can be equal to the love you make.