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  • Gary Gruber

I still have a bit of the Boy Scout left in me.


I try to do a good deed daily, and I’m pretty specific in my endeavors. I try to simply make one stranger smile every day. Granted, you’re not strangers, but the distance of years can be a daunting factor sometimes in trying to strike up a conversation with people.


You have my attention now because all of you were kind enough to respond to the little funny I sent out. Even after all these years, one of the things I keep close to my heart is our graduating class. It has been a bulwark I have used many times to help justify and fortify my existence. The dozen of you that responded and made my day brighter have earned a very special place in my heart.


One of the things I’m sure we all have learned by now is that life does not get any easier the more you live it. It certainly is a reason to be stronger, love harder, and give more of yourself to the people you are close to, expecting absolutely nothing in return.


I have done a lot of things in life and come in contact with hundreds of very different people that have in some way colored the way I live. I have friends from high school who may not share the same view of the world as I do, but we reconciled many years ago to focus on the things that we have in common, not the ideas that separate us. And through this simple notion we have forged the bonds of friendship that I pray can only be broken on the day we depart.


Whatever it is that you love: a spouse, a child, a friend, or a pet, try to remember that none of this happened by accident. Try and see yourself as a single grain of sand on a very large beach of the universe. In only takes a dash of humility to recognize that the world does not revolve around us. We are not the center of it. Something else is.


John Lennon said it well: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” There is so much we can allow to weigh ourselves down, the bruising nature of relationships, health challenges, current events, or in my case, not having had a decent piece of pizza in three years now.


Some of these issues can come front and center and challenge our sanity to an extent that we question the meaning of life. Don’t do that. Take the love in your heart and grow it into an unquenchable fire. I’m grateful if I can sustain that feeling for ten seconds out of every day.


In my not so humble opinion, I believe we represent one of the last graduating classes that received the best America had to offer in the form of a quality education. Perhaps it was the simplicity of the times. I tend to feel the common values we shared and defended had a lot to do with it.


Draw that close and use it as a weapon to ward off the gloomies however and wherever they seem to attack.


And if that doesn’t work, contact me and maybe I can make you smile.

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