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On Feb. 3, I faced one of the scariest events of my life. I was grilling hamburgers for my family—like I have thousands of times before—when suddenly the grill exploded due to a propane leak. I am so thankful that I was inside the house instead of the deck when this occurred or I would not be writing this to you. (I needed to grab a spatula to flip the burgers, and was gone for all of 45 seconds.) My wife and three daughters did great and got out, as well. We all made it, but our home suffered massive damage from the fire and smoke. Thus, it has taken more than a month for me to be prepared to write a blog post.

Here is what I want everyone to think about today: What is our story? What do we want people to remember about us? This goes deeper than our job titles, responsibilities or the industry sector we work in. If we think about it every day, we add something to our life story. This can be good, bad or neutral. Our story develops based on how we live our lives, what we say, how we act, what we do and who we are.

Life is a present. Life also is the present. We cannot change the past, just like we can’t alter the future. We can simply plan (to the best of our human ability) for the future and come to grips with the past. And, we can always seek to make others’ lives better in every encounter we have with them. Do you want to be this type person? This type of organization? I know I do. Life is stressful and hard. We all have a lot on our plates. So … love someone. Say “please” and “thank you.” Tell someone you care about them. Help someone when they are not expecting it.

Remember, each minute in short time becomes an hour, which quickly becomes a day. In time, these days blend together to become months and years. The years add up quickly and even if we are healthy, we only have so many on this earth.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow or even an hour from now. I was reminded about this in a dramatic way on Feb. 3 and, therefore, want to take every chance I can to en
courage others to make this world a better place. How? By helping people grow and reminding them to love others, to quit focusing on petty things that don’t matter and to make a difference in the present, which is the only time you know you have.

I challenge you, as I have done to myself, to make your story count. I am so thankful to be here, have my family safe and have the privilege of writing this post to share with you. May God bless each one of you.

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