A bit of wisdom came from this weekend along with the fun. We make a serious mistake in judging people when they are in the beginning stages of adulthood, i.e. late teens. The homely girl became beautiful; the bumbling boy heads a multi million dollar enterprise. The least popular came out of their shells; the confident athletic has found life to be humbling. To be sure, there were those we expected to succeed who did as expected.
I came away regretting I had not paid more attention to my classmates when I had a chance. Some I ignored went on to lead interesting and productive lives. Some I didn’t pay attention to in class or in the hallways or at lunch are ones with whom I wish I could spend more time. Who knew we would have a city councilman, a college president, a professional football player, a major land holder, a sheriff, a gospel quartet lead singer, a preacher/evangelist, and so on. Who knew we would have some fellow students in rather ordinary occupations but who were not defined by those occupations but were defined by their quality of life and the joy it brought them.
The saddest regret was with those classmates who did not have a chance to live the lives they had planned. I remember the first death in our class. Judy had gone to a small college and become a cheerleader. She was having a great college experience. On a road trip to a football game, the driver lost control of the car and Judy was killed. What a waste of a beautiful person with tremendous potential. We lost about 20% of our classmates to disease, accidents, war and other causes. We were never to know how their lives would have turned out.
The point is quite simple, we never know! We never know how someone will develop positively or negatively. We never know how their life will change, the decisions they will make, the lives they will live. We never know how long they will be with us. If we want to truly have a high quality of life, it is a mistake to pre-judge or ignore our life contacts. Embrace all those with whom you encounter. You may be embracing them for the last time or you may be embracing a President; you never know.
The bit of wisdom; don’t be too hasty to dispose of the lump of coal in your hand, it may contain a beautiful diamond waiting to be found and polished.
That’s my “View From the Fall”