(Photo by Oliver Sjostrom)
People move in and out of our lives. It is never lost on me that special men friends have blessed me with their presence over the years. These are men that have inspired me to be better. In the last few years, a few of my most special ones have passed, but blessedly new ones have appeared that inspire me. I trust that for all of us, we are often visited by those who seldom realize their impact on us.
Who among your personal friends or acquaintances inspires you? Why do they inspire you?
I’d like to tell you of three of mine: Bob, Bud, and Andrew. None of the three are what you might term “everyday buddies” that I spend large amounts of time with, but when I do, I feel enriched, revitalized, and inspired and wish we had more time together. One is a more recent friend and the other two I have known less than ten years.
Bob A. is just a bit more than a decade older than me, but his enthusiasm for life, the arts, and travel know no bounds. A former college professor, no youngster will outdo his energy. When in town, he’ll be in the gym working out, enjoying the hot tub, out riding his bike, preparing and delivering sandwiches to the homeless, and attending several social functions a day. Whew! Single and long ago divorced with four children scattered about, he will often be on one continent one month and another the next, and enjoying every play or musical that New York, San Francisco, or Reno have to offer. A bit of hyperbole? Not much. Not only does everyone know him, they love him … and he loves them back.
Bud H. is a bit younger in his fifties with a beautiful and charming wife and three boys in their twenties. An entrepreneur, he has an award-winning diner that has been featured on national television and an empowered staff. He enjoys the water and the outdoors, and with his wife are fixing up a home in Mexico where they love hanging out with the locals. But if you need help, he’s there. He and his one son traveled to Poland for several weeks to help refugees from the war in the Ukraine and he thankfully serves on the Board of our high-rise condominium building. A liberal mind and heart, Bud has that mischievous, fun twinkle in his eye and a love for people and life that is irresistible.
Andrew W. is about a dozen years or so younger than me and a fascinating individual. Living out of Florida, this former Brit would have the Energizer Bunny succumbing while traveling on his tireless globetrotting ways. Working very diligently for most of the year, Andrew has worked his way to become a successful Marketing Expert to several industries and travels extensively each summer to play golf, visit friends, and enjoy life around the world. He is a virtual sponge for knowledge, has invested in coaching from some of the best, and also knows how to apply and share his knowledge with others. Like Bob and Bud, Andrew knows and practices the benefits of generosity.
So what more do the three have in common about them I so admire and inspires me? And why might I write about any three individuals in such an anonymous fashion?
All have big, outgoing “people personalities” in a kind, thoughtful manner. They are grounded in love and not fear. All are uncommonly generous with their time, attention, knowledge, and material goods. Each has an insatiable curiosity for knowledge, an appetite for fun and living life making them not only interesting, but interested. Each demonstrates the value of good health, vitality, and energy applied. Each is a giver, but equally comfortable receiving. They all not only impress me as thinking outside the box, they are apt to toss the box aside and not hurt anyone in the process. Interestingly, I am confident that while each of these gentlemen might politely appreciate or be mildly flattered to be featured here, none would care the least if they weren’t, for they appear comfortable in their skin. These are all qualities I either admire or aspire to improve in myself.
Writing this little piece really is as much for me as it highlights in a specific fashion how fortunate I am to have such positive influences in my life, and how I (and we) owe it to be there for others.
So who in your life and circle of men friends do you admire and inspires you? Why? Might you even journal about them?