hand holding up a small number of wildflowers with the horizon in the background

I met and lost three incredible people in 2023. I wasn’t extremely close with them, and still they impacted me greatly in the brief time I knew each of them. And even after they died, I continued to see how much they inspired others, and be more inspired by them myself. When it came to others, each of them acted to amplify and support and encourage everyone around them. I saw each of them explore what is possible, and show quiet strength as they made space for people to grow.

Here are three truths I learned from them, and what I vow to do with them as tribute so that their legacy lives on.

  1. Seeking to understand others’ aspirations and challenges will create larger impact than anything I can do on my own. I will keep up with people who I’m blessed to cross paths with, and ask them what they are up to and how I can support them. Thank you Brady MacPherson.
  2. Being consistently gentle and agreeable allows me to grow more, and inspires greater peace and growth in others. I will prioritize self-care and acceptance so that I can be myself more often and more open to trying new things. Thank you Jhony White.
  3. Creating opportunities is more important than taking them, and the effects of that are more important than any possession. I will focus on what I want to accomplish and why, more than timing and reward, and I will make real effort to create safety and belonging so others can always participate. Thank you Kris Nova.

I want to bring a different option than what might be typical in whatever setting I am in. When I’m at work, I want to offer more space for understanding. When I’m at home, I want to offer more presence and acceptance. When I feel alone, I want to reach out to those who might not want to be alone. When I’m tired, I still want to make the effort to find peace and connection and strength.

I’ve let my life experiences win all to often, and I slip into competition and collecting trophies when I don’t watch it. I will be forever grateful to these three lives will remind me to fight that programming and focus on friends, family, community, and then do what I can to make it ok for more of us to do that. Always.