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July 10, 2014

Had a conversation with a friend this week and we were talking about success. What is the gauge for success? I don’t believe that it is the amount of money you earn, the fancy car you own, or any other material things. I tend to think that if you’re taking care of your business, being responsible for those that you are accountable for, being a good person who is kind to others, then you can be considered a success.

As a profession, a bad doctor is not as successful as a great waitress.

A great preacher is not a success if he does not take care of his family.

A professional athlete that only considers himself is only a good athlete, but not a successful person in my book.

And that is a bit harsh. Because there are no perfect humans left on the earth. But we can keep trying to be a better person, a better employee, and a better parent or aunt or son.

Then that leads to what Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Another good point.

Through working with some of the OPSU Upward Bound kids, I met Jocelynn Avalos. She job shadowed me, which means she helped do all sorts of things that I have not taken the time to get done. She was wonderful. And she sent a thank you note that I hope she doesn’t mind if I share …

“Although I did not know you before, seeing all your accomplishments gave me the judgment of you being a successful person. When I spent more time with you I realized that not only were you successful, but a caring and amazing person as well.

“I enjoyed making your day a little easier, completing your tasks. Your words of advice are cherished and taken to heart. Thank you for listening and your amazing hugs.

“I appreciate you allowing me into your workplace and everything you do for our community.”

It made me tear up. She is the one who was helping as a volunteer. I was the one being helped. She is the one that listened to the old woman talk and talk. I was the one that had a listener giving me attention. And yet she is the one who said thank you. She is the one that deserves the thanks.

Reading that makes me want to act better. Be kinder. Not to cuss so much. You know all those little things we do and don’t admit …

Then I remember Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” So then I have to admit, Jocelynn and I are both a success, together. And I was blessed several times over.

What have you done lately to be a success?

What have you done to help another be successful?

We’re very busy working on Azuma: An African Celebration for August. All those committee folks and volunteers are going to bring us another fabulous and wonderful celebration of Africa again, this year on August 10. Mark it on your calendar.

Recently in our Rotarian magazine the President, who is from China, I think, said, “In English, you say, ‘It is better to light a single candle than to sit and curse the darkness.’

“… There are so many people who need help. Many people look at this and say, ‘There is nothing I can do.’ So they do nothing – and nothing changes.”

If it’s time for a change in your daily world, make it. And remember that opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Get after it.

And I’ll see you on the bricks!