Get Acquainted

5 03 2014

pls-friends

“Surround yourself with creative people. Dammit…” ~ Epitaph of John J. Langan  (1960-2060)

In October 2007, when filling out my Facebook profile for the first time, and with my tongue firmly in cheek, I stated that my Political Views were “Conservative, But Willing to Learn”.

I was quite the joker six and half years ago…

I’ve had a bit of a journey since then, especially in the last couple of years. Nothing earth shattering and don’t get me wrong – I’m still the brash, opinionated asshole that my family and friends have come to know and love. But over these years I’ve left my mind open to new ideas that have certainly changed me. Most of the credit goes to my sons, who are more open than I ever was at their ages. It must be a generational thing. And I’ve been shaped by my friends… who are in greater numbers because of social media and a conscious decision to allow time for them.

More friends? That used to be my question. “Why do I need more friends when I don’t have time for the ones I want to see?” What a stupid thing to say…  In the past few years I have discovered such richness and variety of life because I have opened myself to more people. Not everyone can be your close friend, but I no longer place any limits on acquaintances. I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to many places in the world, but lately I’ve been more interested in meeting people and hearing their thoughts. “Where” doesn’t matter, it’s the moment that counts.

Opening yourself to new thoughts can’t help but change you. I’ve altered my thinking on so many things in the past few years… from conservative to liberal (maybe not all the way). Simple things like not keeping score in youth sports so we can teach the fundamentals, to stricter gun control laws, to gay rights, and for god’s sake… Let’s make love, not war! Take care of your fellow man, man…

And there are life lessons… In the past couple of years quite a few people I know have passed on. Some were acquaintances, some slightly more than that, and some were family and friends that I loved very dearly. It happens that we all go through stretches of attending funerals. That’s life, and we have no choice but to accept it. Loss, like any experience, shapes and changes you. And it creates a void that must be filled with new experience. With people!

562187_10150691436993494_214597061_nMy mantra is “Surround yourself with creative people.” Seek them out… lots of them. Interact! For this, quantity beats quality.

I can’t predict how much time I have left on this earth, but I do know that the bulk of my time is behind me. I’m sure my sons are shuddering at the thought of their 104 year-old Dad passing gas in their living room. I still want to travel and experience things and events, but going forward the true richness of life will be with my family and friends. And lots of acquaintances!

And that’s living, my friends…

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9 03 2014
Redrawing Boundaries for Health Science Innovation & Investment in The Big Apple | Healthcare Box Score

[…] of surrounding yourself with creative people and being open to new ideas (read his blog post Get Acquainted). His advice is to actively seek out new acquaintances to hear their thoughts and consider how they […]

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