No. 1037



There is a famous poem that has these words, or at least this sentiment, “Give me the roses while I am living and the knocking when I am dead.” While roses can come in many different forms, shapes and sizes, apart from the rose bush, one of those forms is to pay someone an honest and sincere compliment. To be sure, it is impossible to pay someone a sincere compliment after they are dead and gone. The time for us to say good, often life-changing things, to or about another person is while they are still living.
It is in this spirit that I want to share some thoughts about a fantastic book I have just finished reading titled, “Balcony People” by Joyce Landorf Heatherley. This book is only about 70 pages, but it contains many thoughts and personal examples that can be life-changing. As I share these thoughts, that would be my sincere wish for you.
Before I pass along some of those life-changing benefits, allow me to share the simple concept on which the book is based. The word “balcony” means, “A projecting gallery in a theater or public building.” For example, when you sit in the balcony of a theater, you are sitting above all those on the lower or main floor. She uses the word balcony to describe people who have personal qualities and character that enable them to rise above the normal run-of-the-mill, often negative, people we encounter every day. These people are positive and make us feel special because of what they say and how they treat us. Contrast this with negative people who are often critical of us and make us feel as though we are worthless and unimportant. She calls these people, “basement people.” A personal question, please: As a general rule, do you have more “balcony people” or “basement people” in your life?
Regardless of your answer, I believe you will agree that we all need “balcony people” in our lives and around us each and every day. I just confess to you that I need them every day of my life. The author also uses a couple of other terms that may help us to see the personal qualities of some of the people in our lives and the long-term impact they have on us. Some people are “affirmers,” in that they affirm our value and worth with the kindness and respect they show us, not because we deserve it, but just because we are another human being. The other term is “evaluators.” These people, while often well-meaning, are constantly evaluating our performance and, in many ways, often compare us with their own standards.
From Joyce’s book, here are some qualities “balcony people” have: They love from the heart. Loving each other, affirming each other, and being “balcony people” means there is no room for critical and judgmental attitudes. It seems that few, too few, of us honor one another. We are too interested in our own welfare, our own successes, and our own achievements. She also says that “balcony people” listen from the heart and, instead of tearing down, they build up. “Balcony people” also care from the heart. They are fantastic in their ability to pick up the baton of “bearing one another’s burdens,” and to run with it.
The author tells about being at a dinner meeting one night where couples were in attendance. The husbands were asked to introduce their wives. She said it was a refreshing time to hear husbands say, “This is my wife, a wonderful, patient mother to our two sons and the absolute joy of my life.” Another said, “This is my wife, my lover and my business partner. She is the greatest salesman in the world and the smartest woman I know. I love and respect her with all I have.” Without a doubt, the “balcony people” concept has saved countless marriages.
The book “Balcony People” is a best seller and can be ordered from
(EDITOR’S NOTE: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)