TomorrowEditorial, Latest Issue, Top Highlights Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
A good friend of mine passed away unexpectedly last week. Mark and I were working together on a new start-up in the genetic medicine industry, he was only 56. Monday was my 57th birthday.
Mark and I attended Harvard Business School together and were two of the youngest people in our class. Mark’s untimely death, followed quickly by my birthday and now Thanksgiving, has really made me think about life. As my grandmother used to say, “tomorrow isn’t promised to you.”
Mark’s death, and the quick end of San Diego icon Ben Dillingham’s life, has made me reflect on the choices that I am making in my life. Living, and making choices, in the moment is not easy to do. We all delay saying I love you, thank you for helping me or thank you for helping others. No, I have not turned into Pollyanna, but sometimes we forget the niceties that can really make a person’s day.
When was the last time that any of us have thanked the many leaders in San Diego for the incredible work that they do for our great city? It’s so much easier to point out faults and shortcomings. This coming from someone who can teach a Master Class in criticism.
Criticism is important to move things forward, but so is praise. A great example of someone who is a lightning rod for criticism is my good friend Nicole Murray Ramirez, age unknown. There are many who hasten to criticize Nicole because he is a great self-promoter whose political leanings are just that, they may lean this way today and that way tomorrow. See criticism is easy. Praise is hard.
How many of you have ever said, “Nicole, I don’t agree with everything that you do but you did a great job on X? Not that many. Whether it was starting the Harvey Milk Breakfast, or getting the first street named after the leader, or the wonderful work Nicole did during the initial AIDS crisis, how many of you have ever said “thanks”? There are many of you reading this right now saying, “But Nicole did Y.” See, being thankful is hard.
Of course, I know of which I write. LGBT Weekly has been around for 7 years, winning a historic 72 San Diego Press Club Awards of which I am eternally thankful. Thankful to the writers, the columnists, editor Steve Lee, graphic designer Jeff Jungblut and our sales manager John Rutherford, as well as countless others over the years. But how many times have I said thank you, not many, and to some, not at all. This Thanksgiving has given me the opportunity to right that wrong.
I hope this holiday season that you right some wrongs within your life. Are there old friends to whom you have not spoken because of some silly dust up? Give them a call. How about a sibling, parent or relative who you are not on the best terms? Reach out, and if your hand is slapped, rinse and repeat. Life is not long. You are currently living what you will later call the good old days, if you live long enough. This Thanksgiving and every day cherish each moment. Because my friend, tomorrow isn’t promised to you.
San Diego LGBT Weekly
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