At my age, it’s no surprise that there’s a list of souls I’ve known but don’t see nowadays. To (yet again) quote one of my favorite songs: “In my life, I’ve loved them all.” Rather than lamenting their absence, I rejoice in having known them. Every person had a positive impact: even the worst of them brought me powerful lessons.
Today I remember my top 30 or so. To quote another lyric I over-use, here they are—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and lessons they passed on (even if they didn’t know it):
Nancy and Esther: There’s life among the wallflowers.
Sam and Chris: Looking at yourself too much makes you look ugly.
Kathy and Annette: Blind ambition can turn you into a prig.
Mr. Tonini: It’s okay to be second fiddle.
Mr. Mund: If you want to learn something, immerse yourself in it.
Chris: Wacky is fun!
Wes: Chivalry is not dead.
Kevin: We don’t have to stay on the other side of the tracks.
Leslie: A brain is a gift: use it.
Marie: You’re never too old to be cute.
Mr. Lynn: Religion and vulgarity don’t mix.
Bill: I’m proud to be an American.
Jodie: All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
Mary: Big things come in small packages.
Laura: There’s a fine line between friend and boss lady.
Richard: Are you stuck? Make the best of it!
Roy: I’d rather dance than fight.
Pam: Wouldn’t you like to be a heifer too?
Glenda: Where my husband goes, I go.
Bob: Haste makes waste.
Marcie: If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
Barbara: Do voice exercises before a solo.
Shar: Wherever you are, make yourself at home.