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The Value of Positive Examples

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

I hesitated to attend the estate sale of a family I’ve known since my early teens. It felt dishonest, nosy, examining personal treasures that should be for strangers’ eyes only. Yet the peaceful exchange of power in our nation’s capital that was occurring on the first day of the sale had made me melancholy, reflective. I decided my current feeling—that I must move forward—could be anchored by visiting a physical location connected to some favorite memories of my youth. I would use my experience to recall early events that shaped my life and then release them with a desire that my past not hold back my future.


The mother and father who raised their large family in this house inspired my young-adult mind. They supported the artistic, academic, and athletic endeavors of their children. They opened their house to like-minded kids: actors, debaters, forensicators. Their home, always the location of our cast parties, provided impressive amounts of pizza, soda, and if I recall correctly, chocolate-chip cookies. Their example of hospitality helped shape my own; that a basement full of teenagers, music, and laughter creates those moments in life where everything feels right.


I wanted a token to remind me of the dogmatic clarity I felt in my youth—my endless energy to move forward, to reach imagined goals, to be happy. I just never thought I’d find one so personal:



What fun we had in our school productions. And how awesome one of us, Gregg Binkley, became a successful professional actor!

So, thank you to the family who opened their home and shared their love and bounty with those nerdy Kansas kids. Rest assured that your example continues to shine. I’ve reached into that part of me that’s always been there—a knowing that there is always hope, that with enough commitment I can find my path, and that regardless of how things turn out, the love of family and friends remains the true stuff of life.  #read #relax #family

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