The People You Love

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“Life is about the people; the people you meet, the people you miss.  Even the people you hate.  Most of all, life is about the people you love.  Some of them will die before you do.  Nothing will ever bring them back.”

–     Bill Gates (b. 1955), founder of Microsoft and philanthropist, one of the wealthiest people on earth, and so on and so forth…

This quote appears in an article on the Forge section of “Medium.”

It hits home with me on many levels, particularly this year, and particularly this time of year.  Dad passed a little over 17 years ago, and it will be 13 for Mom on Wednesday.  More on that in a moment.

I’ve been blessed to meet some interesting people and to actually be in conversation with them.  Each was a reminder of our potential and also of their human-ness.  Wildly successful, influential, famous, infamous or otherwise, in every conversation, there was more we had in common than we didn’t.  I walked away with a perspective on what made them “special” as well as what made them ordinary.  And I am better for meeting them.

I’ve made it a point not to hate.  It’s pretty much a complete waste of time.  There are, however, a handful of people I’ve met who would be on the final ballot if I chose to change my mind.  What role do they play?  90% of what I take away from them falls under the heading of “Gee, I hope I never…” and 10% under “I hope I haven’t…” or “I’m absolutely never gonna again.”  We see the best and worst of others in ourselves, and of ourselves in others.

Gates says, though, that most of all, it’s about the people we love.  As Bo Diddley first sang in 1956, “Who Do You Love?”   Let’s make it about them because some of them will die before we do.  Some of them already have.  Which brings me back around to…

Dick Heston is still remembered by anyone who ever met him for his smile.  Pat Heston, by anyone who knew her as loyal and protective – sometimes to the extreme.  There are others, family and friends, public figures who mattered to me who have died.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Childhood friends.  Adult friends. Payne Stewart.  Insert your own list here.  And, since nothing will ever bring them back, the best we can do is make sure that part of them stays alive, and that there’s some part of us that the ones who love us will want to keep alive when we’re gone, too.

If it works for the wealthiest guy of our time, it ought to work for us, right?

The entire Gates article is linked here

 

 

 

 

 


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