The listing of specific “successes” are not boasts seeking “atta-boys”. Nor are the declarations of losses, excuses seeking “woe-is-me” pity. Rather, they are testimony to “My Friend’s” diverse experiences, leading to the discovery of the rock-solid, common denominator of Life’s essence, purpose, and function.
"Neither Success nor Failure” defines us or guarantees our joy or sorrow. Fortune and fame are not the solutions they promise to be. They are illusions. Loss and subsistence are not deprivations to be despised and resented. Both are transient occurrences. The former, the specious patina of happiness. The latter, a temporary inconvenience.
Instead, after experiencing both ends of the spectrum of life, the self-evident conclusion is that the suicides of the rich and famous are testimony to the emptiness of fortune and fame. The lives of quiet desperation, relying on drugs or alcohol, miss life’s beauty and joy.
Hence, “Messages from My Friend” attempts to share the rich fullness of life’s experiences, regardless of status, in order to reveal the “True North” of our heart and soul.
The “About” page establishes the credibility to tell the various blog stories about “Relationships, Cultural issues, Inspirational experiences, and Joy & Loss, while searching for the “True North”.”
(Please refer to the September, 2018 blog post entitled, "The Buddhist Tonglen Prayer, with Christian Values" - under the Category: Joy & Loss.)
For three decades, my friend served as a successful management and business development executive for which he was well compensated.
It started when he left Law School at age 23 to create and implement a 70-bed residential care facility for alcoholics. He convinced County Welfare Officials that it was in their best financial interests and their mission as a "social service agency", to replace the expensive and worthless: arrest/court/jail/rehab/release/arrest/etc. cycle, with a mandatory 6 month supervised stay a "Transitional Care Facility". The "Transitional Facility"would provide a clean, spacious room, with a private bath, 3 nutritious meals, professional counseling, AA meetings, meetings with probation & parole officers, job training, etc. The end result was a significant savings to the County and the restoration of dignity and productive lives to the previously discarded.
His success continued with public, private, and entrepreneurial start-up companies:
- As a Vice President of the state’s largest bank.
- As Vice President of a regional 200-gas station and C-store operation, for which he arranged financing.
- As President of a 6-state exclusive distributorship of a unique product, which required creative marketing, with approvals from the US EPA, State Government, and Municipalities.
`Concurrently, for two decades, he served as a board member for non-profit organizations, ranging from a school and a sales association, to a country club.
When single, my friend lived in a luxury apartment overlooking Lake Michigan, and drove a Mercedes Benz 280 SL, 2-seat, convertible. When married, his family lived in a spacious, gracious home, in a subdivision with a pool, tennis courts and a lake. He provided four cars for his family’s convenience, vacations to 5-star resorts, several tours of Europe, over 2 decades of memberships in a country club and racquet club, and a college education for all of his four children.
My friend also enjoyed the accolades of athletic achievement. He won a State Championship for playing #2 doubles on his local State League Tennis Team, and another Tennis Championship for being undefeated in the weekly Racquet Club 4.0 singles matches, over 8 months.
He won the Class A Country Club Championship, the year after he was a Finalist. He won the Country Club’s Father/Child tournament 4 times, each with 1 of his 4 children, and the prestigious 1st Place Low Gross & Low Net District Father/Son Championship. A half dozen 1st Place Member/Guest trophies from various country clubs, and 4 - 1st Place/Low Gross Singles Championships, from local Associations and nation-wide company Golf Tournaments, are on his bookcases.
Then, my friend suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. He watched, “The truth he spoken, twisted by knaves, to make a trap for fools. And watched the things he gave his life to, broken. Yet, stoop, and build ‘em up with worn out tools.” He lost all his wealth and income by nefarious deeds of third parties and friends. He was broke and forced to sell the home he built decades earlier. Then he lost his health, becoming permanently disabled in both legs, ending his playing tennis or golf, forever. He learned, “Vanity. All is Vanity” and took a job as a licensed family counselor.
My friend also learned that “Love” is counter-intuitive. It’s not seeking, “What’s in it for me?”, which calcifies the heart. Love is less about “Moonlight and Balconies”, and more about patience and acceptance. It’s sharing who we are, asking nothing in return. Love has no conditions. Surrenders the need to be right. And loves one another, as God loves us.
So, I summarized and synthesized all my friend’s experiences and insights and distilled them into this web-site blog. Perhaps, in the quiet stillness of the night, when the mind rests and the heart opens, some of my friend’s messages may assuage anxiety, or point to the “True North” of the heart and soul.
Then, the rest of life is spent in the palm of God’s hand. Where, “Neither foe nor loving friend can hurt you.” Resilient, “Long after your heart and nerve and sinew are gone. When there is nothing in you, except the Will to say, "Hold On’".
All of this is in the web-site blog: “Messages from My Friend.” If any of these blog posts help, tell a friend about: “Messages from My Friend”. While it costs nothing to read, a story may be priceless.