Jeffrey walked over to me from the front of the room. I reached out to shake his hand. Then, with hardly any delay, he reached into his pocket and fished out a piece of candy. With a smile creasing his face, he handed it to me.
“Sugar will last forever,” he said with a grin and bright eyes.
No, Jeffrey didn’t say that to remind me that as soon as I ate it, it would likely turn directly into body fat that would never go away. He simply meant to remind me that it’s always best to be good, thoughtful and kind to everyone we meet because such actions last forever. Here are a few other lasting things, related to sugar, that I’ve learned from Jeffrey.
People come from varied backgrounds, but they all appreciate being treated with love and respect. Jeffrey came to the United States from The United Kingdom.
“I’m an American by choice!” he says. Because of his history, he has some traditions that differ a little from our local customs, but this simply adds to his personal charm.
Personal differences, such as Jeffrey’s, provide you and me with an ability to tap a diverse range of experiences and points of view that would otherwise be inaccessible. My life has been greatly enhanced as I’ve listened to Jeffrey’s stories of school and early work-days. Because his shared experiences are so different than mine, his stories have almost become magical and intriguing tales of adventure in my mind.
Jeffrey’s stories demonstrate that warm, human connections create lasting, real value. His life demonstrates the power of creating community, and kind, creative messaging between others. Anil Dash said, “If you view community as a crowd, you’re destined to fail.”
Jeffrey’s “sugar will last forever” philosophy champions the idea of bringing goodness to other people rather than waiting for them to come to you. This completely flip flops the way most people view life. His philosophy — sharing is the secret to creating warm friendships — naturally happens when you share your best self with others. It amplifies the incentive for people to contribute in return. It creates positive, lasting connections.
As I shook Jeffrey’s hand, I could feel our enduring connection. Moments later, I savored the candy he gave me. “Sugar will last forever,” I repeated in my head. The taste of the candy would soon be gone, yet the warm feelings of my friendship with Jeffrey would indeed, last forever.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.