“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” ― Oscar Wilde
People complain about small towns turning into big cities and losing their close-knit feel. I suppose it can happen, but within every big city are small sections of people who help keep it feeling like a small town. If you want it, you will find it. Just ask someone who finds that even in a big city, people seem to know their business when they wish they didn’t. It’s not always a negative, though, to be part of a small town and to have people know your business. That’s one of the things I learned from my friend Joe. Of course, he wasn’t just my friend–Joe was everyone’s friend. Oscar Wilde would have loved Joe because Joe didn’t treat anyone like they were ordinary.
The news hit me harder than any of recent memory. My friend died in a horrible traffic accident. He was not at all at fault, and the word tragic has been used more times than I can count. The sadness of it gripped me so tightly, and thinking of anything happy was too much work for me for many moments. Knowing he suffered, knowing he knew what was happening to him is pretty hard. Knowing that for sixty-six years he “lived large” with a smile, laugh, and heart none could forget, I knew that my sadness must be replaced with larger thoughts. So with a hurting heart and hope for you and I to choose to live a little differently, I want to tell you about being “Joe” in your town.
I try to be a good person, a caring adult, and a positive presence in most lives that have crossed my path. If I’m not able to be that kind of person, it isn’t for lack of a good example. I’ll be working a little harder from this day going forward to make sure Joe would be proud that I paid attention, and if I’ve left out any of his attributes, I’m hoping someone will let me know so we can add it to the list.
In all of my life, I’ve never known another person like Joe. I really mean that. If you don’t know someone like Joe, maybe it’s because you need to be someone like Joe for someone else. Joe never treated anyone like they were ordinary, which is why we all remember him as extraordinary.