Eddie Jaku was a dear friend of mine. I can say that because he told me I was a dear friend of his and my eyes would water whenever he said it. I miss him dearly.
We only spent about 6 hours in each other’s physical presence, and maybe another 6 hours talking on the phone.
When I would go to Sydney I would fly in a bit early, drive to the Sydney Jewish Museum and take Eddie out for lunch.
He would then take me to the Museum and introduce his “friend from Byron Bay” to all and sundry – the security staff, the admin staff, the barista at the cafe.
The other day I looked back in my calendar to see that our first lunch was in November 2017. Our second was in May of 2018.
I think I learned perhaps dozens of life-changing lessons from Eddie. Here are three I think can pep up your day right now.
1. GIVE WITH WARM HANDS
In other words, stop being a tight arse.
“My father used to say to me when I was eight years old. ‘Eddie, there’s more pleasure in giving than taking.’ I thought he was cuckoo. Now that I have children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren I like to give with warm hands.
My children won’t have to wait until I die (to receive my money). I like to see what they do with the money. This is giving me more pleasure to enjoy my own money by giving it now so that I can see what happens with this money.”
Seriously, take Eddie Jaku’s advice.
Feel the joy of giving with warm hands.
Don’t be a scrooge.
People talk behind your back if you are.
Trust me, I talk about tight arses all the time!
They stand out; people don’t enjoy their company – out at dinners, on holidays, even out for coffee.
Shared experiences with a tightass are terrible. Seriously, take Eddie’s advice and GIVE WITH WARM HANDS!
2. WALK FAST
From lunch (we would eat at a cafe called A Brewer’s Tale), we would walk to the Museum (all of 70 metres), and Eddie would walk like he was in contention for an Olympic Gold Medal!
I remember saying, “Gee whiz Eddie you’ve got some speed in those legs …”
And Eddie said something I laughed at and have never forgotten. “Marcus, when you’re as old as I am you don’t know how much longer you have left!”
Think about that for a moment in the context of your life. Forget the fact that Eddie Jaku knew he wanted to create a kinder, more loving world with the time he had left … what are you doing with your REMAINING TIME ON EARTH BEFORE YOU DIE!
I know, it’s morbid to think about, right?
But this SPIRITUAL URGENCY is what I notice in so many of The Exceptionals.
Pending the unexpected, they know they’ve only got 20 more Summers (if they’re lucky), or 5 more years with kids in the home (so go on that family holiday you keep putting off), or 10 more years before the bank thinks you’re too old (so buckle in and get that mortgage you’re too scared to get), and so on.
What do you have SPIRITUAL URGENCY for? Not daily urgency of getting the kids to school on time or arriving at the office in time for the meeting.
With your IMPENDING DEATH approaching, what does your SPIRIT want to get done before it’s all over red rover?
Sit with it, get uncomfortable, and when it lands for you … go out there and WALK FAST! WALK BLOODY FAST!
But not in a hectic, uncontrollable, “I’m too busy” headless chook way. I’m talking with a speed that you love, thrills you, and inspires you to keep going!
As the late great Bob Proctor said (and that guy had A LOT of spiritual urgency) –
“We don’t need to slow down, we need to calm down.”
Here’s to going fast and LOVING IT!
3. BE A GREAT FRIEND
Eddie Jaku would have committed suicide if it wasn’t for his best friend, Kurt. During their lowest times in Auschwitz, Eddie would tell Kurt he wanted to kill himself on the electric fence.
“I would say to my friend, ‘Kurt, let’s go to the wire. We’ll die in 30 seconds – electrocuted.’ Kurt said ‘no’, just spontaneously. When Kurt was sick and came to me with the same idea, I would say ‘no’. Together, we were strong.”
So, for today – and the future – be generous (don’t be a tight arse), walk fast, and be a kind and caring human being – even to strangers.
If you want more of Eddie Jaku, I highly recommend the illustrated hardcover version of his best-selling book, The Happiest Man on Earth. You can buy it here or wherever you buy your books.