Happy Thanksgivings

Today is Thanksgivings Day. This is not a popular holiday in China, but I love the concept to take a pause and start to think about people you should thank for.

Chasing Daylight

I am reading the book written by Eugene O’Kelly: Chasing Daylight.

It is a great book, and O’Kelly has a great story – a cruel but warm story. As CEO of KPMG, O’Kelly knew he only had 3 months of life, and wrote the great book. Maybe O’Kelly will be known not for his role as head of KPMG and his 30 years service to the company, instead, he will be known about this great book which inspired many people, including me.

Circles of Friends

On the page 105 of the book, O’Kelly drew a diagram about his friends that he need to unwind.


Image in courtesy of Eugene O’Kelly, and Amazon

I had hard time to recognize his handwritting, and finally I figured out the five layers of friends:

Outtermost circle: People who because of shared experience or shared passion.

Then: Business Associates

Then: Lifetime Friends

Then: Immediate Family

Then: Children

Then: Wife

O’Kelly spent about 3 weeks to say good-bye to the 1000+ friends in his outercircle. He spent enough paragraphs explain why he need to unwind all his relationships. He wanted to spend one more Perfect Moment with his friends and recall all the Perfect Moments he had with his friends. This is beautiful! He just touched the deepest and sweetest part of human nature – to cherish all the great experience, and to refresh the warmth from friendship.

On page 171, his wife asked him: “Are you prepared to leave me?”

“I think so,” he replied.

When I read about this, my heart is broken.

I would highly recommend everyone to read this book. It is not a big book. It helps to understand the meeting of life, and the value of relationship.

I have my Circles of Friends

I am also writing down a list of my relationship in my circles, and I am sure I also have 1000 friends. O’Kelly reminds me how long people get together is not a big issue, it is all about the great moment we had shared. After I create this list, I will look at each of the name and spend some serious time to recall the great time and the perfect moment we have. It must be a very enjoyable time.

17 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgivings

  1. good article to share!

    people are quite forgottable. when one’s life is nearly ending, he/she starts to find the true meaning of life. The society has teach us to seek materlistic goals and in fact they are not real.

    i am among of regret folks. my grandpa passed away 4 weeks ago. Until that time, i reviewed and rethink my life. I regret that i didn’t often visit him when he is alive. I regret that i didn’t care him for much . And i regret .. too many. And it doesn’t work.

    Just Cherish the family and friend you have at the moment.

    Happy thanksgiving day.

  2. A collection of friends is one of life’s most treasured posessions. You are wise indeed to appreciate that at such a young age, Jian Shuo. Happy Thanksgiving to you too, my friend!

  3. what is the true meaning of life? Maybe no one can describe it clearly, but the time when we share with the friends around us is what we should really cherish.

  4. Right! Relationships are what life is all about.

    The friend who lost his grandpa lately has been through a rough time. But you have no need to spend your entire life running from regrets. Learn the mistakes you have made and start to spend quality time with the people you care. The best expression of love is time. The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

    The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them. The more time we give to something, the more we reveal its importance and value to us. It we want to know a person’s priorities, just look at how he/she uses his/her time.

    Time is our most precious gift because we only have a set amount of it. We can make more money, but we can’t make more time. When we give someone our time, we are giving them a portion of our life that we’ll never got back. Our time is our life. That’s why the greatest gift we can give someone is our time.

    It is not enough just to say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless.

    Many men have said:” I don’t understand my wife and kids. I provide everything they need. What more could they want?” They want bloody you! your eyes, your ears,your attention, your presence, your focus–your time! Nothing can take the place of that.

    The best time to love is now. Sometimes procrastination is a legitimate response to a trivial task, but because love is what matters most, it takes top priority. We have no guarantee of tomorrow.

    P.S Thanks for your recommendation, I will find the book and read it.

  5. Thank you for sharing this reading experience.

    The diagram is ingenius. The inner three circles are unquestionable, but quite limited in number, hence most people we encounter daily fall in the outer three circles, where leave me a lot to wonder.

    1. How does one assert that a friend to be lifelong, before he/she gains sufficient life experience. This circle might rather remain empty for a long period of time, since claiming so at a young age seems a little bit vain.

    2. “Close business associates” comes inner than friends who shared experience and passion. Since business associates share profit, I wonder if the author regards profit of higher value that experience and passion. Or, rather, by the adjective “close”, the author includes in it those share profit as well as experience and passion. In any case, there is no doubt that the author is trying to be pragmatic in this friend matter.

    3. Given the shear difference in numbers between the inner and outer 3 circles, I wonder if we can infer that spending time with people in the outer circles is more or less a waste of our lives. In other words, how realistic is the model depicted by the drawing?

  6. It helps to understand the meeting of life, and the value of relationship.

    here, you mean the meaning of life, right?

    Jianshuo, try to be correct in each word, and you will find it easy to be all-right all the time. Hope you can do it better.

  7. sorry to saya that ,i haven’t see this one until now

    but i see it .

    so i can know what you express….

    i will thanks everything i have and haven’t

  8. sorry to saya that ,i haven’t see this one until now

    but i see it .

    so i can know what you express….

    i will thanks everything i have and haven’t

  9. Looks like a good book.

    The interesting fact of life is that some people in our life move from one circle to another as time progresses. For example- somebody with who we have a shared passion or experience may actually become close associates or lifetime friends and vice versa. So if we make this circle now and review it over maybe a year or two, one can expect some change in terms of how the same person may shift from one circle to another.

    We can use this circle as a good check mechanism to see on a periodic basis, who got added, deleted or changed their position. This can also be a good indicator on how we are progressing on the journey called life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *