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IN THE DAYS 'Madmen' depicts, dad took a job as editor of a fledgling West Coast magazine and went to work for an enigmatic visionary with a deep commitment to journalistic integrity. (If you know the show, think Don Draper and Roger Sterling.) Over the next few decades, they built a company that out-performed and out-earned its Fortune 500-owned competition by attracting an extraordinary staff committed to serving readers with editorial excellence and serving advertisers without kowtowing to them.

Last week, dad sent an email to colleagues and customers, many of whom haven't connected in years, to report that the visionary boss had died, age 93.

The replies reveal an uncommon sense of connection transcending time's passage. The thread evokes vivid memories of experiences shared: good, bad, many of them boozy.

Much has changed, culturally speaking. But the formative power of relationships remains, whether personal, professional or genetic.  

So it's worth investing time to reflect on our most impactful relationships: Contemplate how you're showing up, the stories you tell about them, the emotions you entertain. It's important work. It's soul work. It reminds us who we are, and how we've come to be. It can instill the wisdom of lessons learned. It can inspire courage for pursuing our deepest longings. It can prepare us to love self, God and others more fully. It nurtures a capacity for appreciating how profoundly our lives are influenced by those we encounter along the way.

The best advice I know for this soul-deep relationship work? It's this, from 1 Peter 3:8: "...Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble, That goes for all of you, no exceptions."