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Fred's Blog

The More We Become Who We Are

I have often commented about my quiet, reticent personality during my youth. High school was often filled with moments of hesitation, discomfort, and lack of confidence for me. Among my closest and most intimate friends, I was a bit more comfortable and secure. But, it would take years of experiences, introspection, guidance, and positive reinforcement before I started to become the man I am today.

After 50 years, more than 38 of them spent in Los Angeles, itís somewhat easy to forget how meaningful those early times were. Actually, for most of us, those years were so formidable that our experiences often molded, for the most part, what we have become today. And, if we were fortunate, any negative aspects of our youth became somewhat insignificant; we were able to grow beyond our earlier critical self images and labeling.

Last June I wrote an article called ďYou Can Go Home Again.Ē http://www.lasinglessociety.com/blog.php?mod=article_detail&article=113
It was about my feelings and expectations for my 50th High School Reunion scheduled to take place in May of 2011. I recounted the changes that had taken place in me since high school and about the good feelings I had always had for my classmates, most of whom I hadnít seen in 25-50 years.

About two weeks ago I traveled to Philadelphia for that reunion. I had even higher expectations for this event than I had for our 25th reunion. And, I was even more personally confident and self assured than I might have been at that time. But, I wondered how my classmates would act? Were they going to be callous, cynical and bitter? Might they come across pompous, braggadocios, and haughty? Would they tend to act superior by flaunting their successes or exaggerating their deeds? Or, would they be accepting, friendly, humble, warm and caring?

It didnít take long to find out. People I hadnít seen in half a century greeted me with open arms and wide smiles. There was no pretension, no sarcastic comments, no holier than thou attitudes. No one cared about appearances, degrees, or material successes. They were all caught up in the moment, transferred instantly to those days of old when life was so much simpler and we all possessed such clean, unmarked slates. I donít ever, and I mean ever, remember being in the company of such happy souls, so compatible a band of loving brothers and sisters. It truly was as if we were all part of the same family.

There is no doubt that most of us have made changes physically, spiritually and emotionally through the years. But, as a psychologist friend of mine once told me, ďThe older that we get, the more we become who we are.Ē Simply stated, the tendencies that we had in our youth are even more pronounced much later in life.†

Everywhere that I turned, people who were nice and respectful to me in high school were now more outwardly loving and caring. The quality friends and classmates of my youth had turned into superior adults whose friendship at this stage felt stronger, more meaningful and important. There is no doubt for me, as well as for others Iíve spoken to, that many relationships that had either been of lesser importance years ago, or because circumstances didnít allow them to blossom further, would now be renewed and enhanced.

On the flight home, I couldnít help but reflect on this experience. Yes, I knew that it would be easy to jump back into my life with its cast of characters, both good and bad, with the complexities of my everyday needs, wishes and responsibilities. But, I couldnít help wonder whether I could recreate and hold on to the feeling that I had at my reunion. Of course, it didnít take me long to face reality. Too often, we are so caught up in our affairs that we forget what is truly important in life. We compromise when we shouldnít, accept ill behavior that is beneath our standards, and too often fail to honor those who are the most meaningful to us, those who bring us the most pleasure and happiness.

Iíve gotten better at this lately, but I still have a ways to go. Since we are closer to the end than the beginning, doesnít it make sense that, whenever reasonably possible, we should concentrate on surrounding ourselves with those who create joy and happiness for us? I know it does to me. And, Iím immensely appreciative of my classmates for helping remind me that I need to continue to stay the course and focus even more sharply on what I know is truly important.

Every day is precious. Within reason, try and live each one as though it was your last.

|  Posted on: 2011-05-27 03:04:10  |  0 Comments  

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