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Off and On: What makes a worthwhile life?

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By Ralph Damiani

Have been filled with thoughts of mortality lately. Part of this was brought about by the death recently of a friend in Georgia.

Several things went through my head when I heard of his death. How short life is was one of them. And sadness over the fact that I let contact be lost and really did not communicate with a good man like I should have.

Now I can’t, and that is sad.

Then I thought of one’s life and how do you gauge it and its success?

I remember how full of ambition he was, how he wanted to do so much. And he did. But will he – will any of us – be judged on how many awards he won or how many top contracts he obtained?

No, I don’t think so and would venture to say, he did not think so either. You are judged by the lives you touch, the lives you help.

And by that standard, he was a success.

You can recite his accomplishments – or mine or yours – but in the end they don’t matter. What matters is the child he helped in soccer or that his children are first-class people who want to follow his example and try to make a difference.

I only hope the same can – and will – be said of me. That awards and medals aside, that I helped someone, made a difference in a life, that I reached out, that I cared.


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