“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… Don’t be trapped by dogma–which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. everything else is secondary.” -Steve Jobs
Most often when we hear moving, kind words about a person it is too late for them to hear them. And too often when people gather together to celebrate a life well-lived that life is over.
I’m happy to report that was not the case for my good friend Ron this weekend. He turned fifty and he had a big, fat party to prove it. It was no ordinary party. First of all, there was beer pong. But, besides that…
This was a party where the love was palpable. I mean you could feel it from every attendee–parents, in-laws, poker buddies, friends from childhood, high school, work–EVERYONE was there loving the man to pieces. Every time I saw Ron he had his head back laughing.
Our families vacation together every other year or so and I figured he was always so happy because we were on vacation. But at this party I realized that Ron is always like that. He is a man who loves life and who loves his people. His people know it and he knows it. And we all came out on Saturday to revel in Ron. It was fantastic.
That party made me want to be a better friend. (And I’m a damn fine friend already, btw.) It made me want to take a minute and sit on a bench listening to someone’s stories about a random childhood event that changed their worldview. To pay more attention when a parent at school is telling me how their week is going.
That party made me realize that a party is an investment and worth every penny when it allows the participants to relax, to dive into each others’ lives, and to recharge.
The death of another great American gives us all pause to stop and appreciate our lives while appreciating his contributions to our lives. And a fabulous celebration like Ron’s gives me pause to re-direct my intentions and my energy into people and ideas that I believe in.
I thank you, Steve.
I thank you equally, Ron.