Emulate Your Example

“When you get, give.
When you learn, teach.”
 Maya Angelou

I received an email from a friend, with these words of wisdom for the coming year:

“For each of us, eventually, whether we are ready or not, someday, it will come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame, and temporal power, will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned, or owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear. So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists, will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from or on what side of the tracks you lived at the end. It won’t matter if you are beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So, what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built. Not what you got, but what you gave. What will matter is not your success, but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.”

 Shine On

Light the Way for Humankind


“There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth,
 though they have long been extinct.
There are people whose brilliance
continues to light the world,
though they are no longer among the living.
These lights are particularly bright
when the night is dark.
They light the way for humankind.”
Hannah Senesh

Connected by the Light

As I stare up at the last full moon of 2020, I reflect on this past year and previous happier New Years. The brilliant light of the moon brought back memories of a friend of mine. A friend I worked with, socialized with, and who I respected and admired for well over thirty years.

Though my friend and I didn’t see or talk daily, we always seemed to connect during the holidays. It was 2009 New Year’s Eve in California around 10:00 pm, a few years before this friend passed away. I was on my balcony looking up at the full radiant moon and I wondered if he too was looking up at the moon.

When I left my balcony and returned to my living room, I heard an incoming email notification on my laptop. I was astonished to see the email was from my friend. He was vacationing in Belize, as he always did during the holiday season. The email simply read:

JR, It’s midnight in Belize. I’m looking up at a magnificent moon over the bay here and am thinking of you. It’s still a wonder to me that we all can see the same moon from different places–albeit at different times and longitudes, but with no major physics correction involved. John Muir said, ‘When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.’  Happy New Year 

During the holidays, I find myself reminiscing about this dear friend. I miss him and our long talks about life, history, and whether or not we are alone in the Universe. I miss the special connection we had. A connection, I believe all of us have the ability of obtaining.

All of us have the energy and light within us to light the way for humankind.

Shine On

2020 Merry Christmas



“And above all, watch with glittering eyes
the whole world around you
because the greatest secrets are hidden
in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe
in magic will never find it.”
Roald Dahl

Shine On