My friend and I had a bet that the first one to net $1 million in a single year – the other guy had to buy him breakfast. Twenty years later I bought him breakfast. He was there for me in some key moments over the years, a good man. Entrepreneur. “There’s always more money out there to be made,” he said. But he wasn’t greedy or materialistic.
We finished breakfast and he gave me a check for $10,000. I gave it to the Chalmers Center (an educational institute led by Brian Fikkert, author of When Helping Hurts). I introduced him to some of my other friends who lead nonprofits and he supported their work too. My friend died last Thursday and Friday I flew back out to Southern California.
I won’t write any cliche insights or platitudes about making life count and all that, but those cliches – carpe diem, be present, life is a gift – they’re true. I was at the ocean this morning, being washed in the rhythms and smelling the salty air as the dawn rose behind me. This Bougainvillea, with its flare color and resilience, reminded me of him. Not all of us are Bougainvillea though. I’m more like that succulent – Agave. Grows in harsh dry conditions, doesn’t flower very often, but you know, hanging in there.