By Alane Cunningham – Contemporary Retirement

Probably most people don’t retire with as much fanfare as Oprah Winfrey, but I’m sure many people have worked 25 years, or more, at the same place.

 

As I watched Oprah bid farewell to her audience it made me think of the relationships we build at work and the impact we have on people we work with.

During her last show, she reflected back on her years and the lessons she had learned. One that resonated with me was the idea we are all energy. What we put into the world can be positive or negative energy. This is a big lesson when you think about what it can mean when dealing with people or situations.

In the movie “The Color Purple” when Sealy found the courage to leave her abusive husband, Mister, he raised his hand to strike her. She reminded him that anything he had done to her had already been done to him. In other words, all the mean things, all the bad energy he had put into the world had already come back to him.

Whether you are still working, or whether you have retired, you interact with people throughout your day. If you think of this simple concept, it can really turn around how you might react in a situation. The other day, I had to take my car in for repair. After I had waited for what I thought had seemed like a long time, I asked the service manager what was taking so long and I made a snide remark along the lines of I didn’t know I would be living there. And then I caught myself. I thought I am not putting positive energy into the world and I am hurting a person’s feelings for no reason.

Most of us will never be as famous as Oprah Winfrey or have an opportunity to touch so many lives, but we can take away one of her lessons and use it to make the world a better place.

About Alane Cunningham

Alane is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. She retired from the University of Michigan after 27 years. She currently lives in Florida in a small beachside community with her husband. She navigates retirement with human nature observations realizing everyone must find their own way to happiness through this passage of life.

 

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