Not people who make you think “oh man, I have to seem like a better person in order to be around so and so”. Thats not healthy at all. But every now and then, you meet people who inspire you; who make you see life in a different way. These people make you want to be a better person for its own sake, and for yours. These people are a rarity. They don’t appear often along the trail we take. But when they do, they are like a cool spring to your weary soul; a place to clean up, drink, rest, and then have another go at life.
In my life I have had an unusual compliment of these people: whether because I needed more of them than usual or I just got lucky, I don’t know. Either way, fortune has planted them in my path exactly when I needed them. And it is amazing where they come from.
The first instance that comes to my mind is my father. He served a mission when no one else in his family would. He came home, had a job that he lost, and had 2 kids. So he dusted himself off, worked at macey’s while going to school so he could get a real career. He gives and gives and gives to us kids, and sometimes I feel like we are just leeches, and just feed of his selflessness in a parasitic frenzy. But he has never quit. When I grow up, if I am half the dad that MY Dad is, then I will feel most accomplished.
There is a man in my ward named Ken Robinson. Ken is a great, humble man. He has a son, Ryan, age 34-ish, who is incredibly handicapped. Cant walk, talk etc. Every day for 30 years they have taken care of him. Every week they would help him into his wheel chair and bring him to church, sitting in the back row. Now he is too sick to come so they take turns staying home or coming to church. And he always had a smile, always accepted callings.
My dear friends Alex and Trevor, each in a different way, make me want to be better people. It was in large measure thanks to their great example that I went on a mission. They consistently amaze me by their focus and dedication to their life choices.
Warren Murley, my beloved friend from Abbottsford, BC, made me want to be better from the moment I met him. Were we perfect? Far from it. But together, we lifted each other and a host of other missionaries to become the best that we could.
There are few people like Sam Holley. So focused, dedicated, and completely innocent. Not stupid, not ignorant, just innocent. Pure. I miss you Sam. Everyday I woke up and said to myself I want to be more like Elder Holley. I still do most days. Everything was wonder to Sam; everything an adventure.
I have a friend. An asian friend. With more talent and drive in her little finger than I have in my(stereotype edit). I love Anatasha. She changed my life. From her first announcement of “we are going to be friends” to her most recent “I love you, buddy”. I admire her drive, courage, and her ability to love. I want to be like her someday: proud, happy and brave. Julie is my most recent example. A long lost friend, flung to the past, thought never to be found. And then there she was. And every second with her makes me realize that life CAN be beautiful. That people ARE good. And that I CAN be better. That I could choose to be happier. And because of her, I do. If you can go through the things she has, and land on your feet with a smile on your face... Well I don’t know anyone else that could, but her.
In the end, life is what we make of it; thats the lesson I learn from these. That it can be beautiful and frightening and difficult and spontaneous and full of rapture and pain, monotony and bliss. And the trick is to learn from all those times, to capture those moments, and use them to become what you want to be. To be a better person. I wonder if everyone has these people in their lives, and if they notice and appreciate them. This is attempt number one at a blog.