The Eight Points of Covey
We sat facing one another in the living room at my in laws the day after Christmas. It is a part of their tradition to take turns passing out gifts and watching as each person opens theirs before moving on to the next recipient. It’s a welcomed change from our “all hands in” scramble to the last gift opened with a flurry of discarded paper flying off in every direction often leaving a hidden gift until it’s over and cleanup has begun.
Near the end of opening the tree, Kyle’s mom stood and reached under the tree for two small gifts. She brought one to Kyle and one to his older brother, Kevin. I watched quietly as they both opened and waited to see what they had received. Kyle held up his gift. It was a small wooden picture frame holding a piece of paper with a man’s profile in the top right corner and type face filling the rest of the space. Mimi shared how Kyle had the same script in original handwriting of his grandfather taped to his wall when he was staying at home during college. Stories about their grandfather filled the room as we listened to memories and shared in familiar laughter and love.
When Kyle handed me the frame the first thing I noticed was the striking resemblance between them. Kyle’s grandfather seemed to have the same twinkle in his eye and smile on his face that I get to wake up to each and every morning. At the top of the frame it read,
The Eight Points by Tom Covey, Jr
below it read the following:
1. Don’t contradict people even if you are right.
2. Don’t be rude to your inferiors in social positions.
3. Don’t repeat gossip even if it does interest a crowd.
4. Don’t underrate anything because you don’t possess it.
5. Learn to hide your aches and pains under a pleasant smile.
6. Don’t believe that everybody in the world is happier than you.
7. Don’t be inquisitive about the affairs of even your most intimate friends.
8. Learn to attend to your own business. This is a very important points.
Each of the points began to resonate in my mind as I pictured Kyle and his family quietly following this points throughout the time that I’ve gotten to know them. I marvel at their grace and the way in which they carry themselves in every situation life brings their way. I would love to be able to say that I have gotten to the point in my life that I am able to quietly follow each of these points almost by habit but I still need a lot of practice. This simple reminder to living a life of grace is a welcomed one and will serve as a gentle reminder of the person I always hope to be.