Buddy is 80, and he’s proud to tell you that. He’ll even show you a photograph of him when he was 66 to prove how well he is doing. He carries the photograph with him as part of his sales pitch, which he was giving me at a recent chamber networking event. Frankly, he does look better, healthier, more energetic now than he appeared in the photo, and he uses that evidence to support his pitch for the fruit and vegetable supplements that he and his wife sell. I think it is the man’s spirit that matters the most.
We chatted, we laughed, we compared stories and we laughed some more. All the while, I watched and listened closely to his stories and comments. Buddy is alive. Every cell in his being is alive. He enjoys being alive. That makes a difference.
The roots of the word “enthusiasm” means to be filled with the spirit. It is addictive and pleasant to be around; it is energizing. My mom told me when I was but a lad, “Your enthusiasm will take you far.” It is not surprising that I am intrigued by enthusiasm and similar indicators of one’s joy for life and living. Moods come and go, but the spirit that flows from your heart and soul is constant, though sometimes, I admit, it rests in the “pilot light” mode. Even the small flame will attract moths.
I was networking to find a new job (my remote position that I worked for the last 20 months was recently eliminated) and/or some contract assignments in my fields. What I found in Buddy was even more sustaining: A reminder to be alive, be spirited, laugh and share. Repeat several times per day.