There are few people I enjoy spending time with as much as my buddy Tom. Despite the 25+ year age difference, Tom exemplifies so many qualities that any role model should have. He has been blessed financially, but I have never seen anyone that is so generous with what they have. Examples...
Tom and I golf often together. We always go to the same place for beers and food afterwards, and Tom always refuses to let me pay. He won't even let me put the tip down. He always tells me that I'm in college, and to save my money for what I really need.
A few days ago, I was talking with him about how my dad offered to get me some new clubs for my graduation, either a few hybrids or a driver. He brought up how he had bought a new driver and 3 wood, and he said, if you want the 3 wood feel free. I graciously agreed, and said I should pay him something for it, and he declined before I even finished my sentence. "It would just sit in my closet," he said. Today, after the round we played, he taps me on the shoulder and hands me his old driver. "I don't need it anymore, it's yours," he said.
As we talked about life, relationships, money and other things, I realized how much of an amazing person Tom really is, and I notice it even more every time we talk. He's put away a humongous college fund for 4 or 5 kids already, who aren't even out of their toddler stages. He never lends family members money. Ever (Wait for it...). He says, if they need it, I just give it to them. If they want to pay me back they can but I'll never ask for it, it's theirs.
I'm sure every once in awhile he treats himself, and believe me when I say it's well-deserved. This guy deserves the world, and I hope that life has been all that he has dreamt it to be. Between a condo in Florida, trips overseas, time at home, and everything else in between, this guy deserves the world. I hope one day that I will find myself to be as generous and selfless as he.
It reminds me of my time when I didn't have a car at school. I'd always hitch rides, and friends would go out of their way to include me and keep me in the loop and cart me around, always delivering me back to my door at the end of the night. Once I got my own set of wheels, I made sure to always give friends rides when I could. What's a little more gas? It isn't and shouldn't be a big deal. There's no reason to be stingy. Can you imagine if everyone in the world was a little less selfish and a little more selfless?
Tom joked that if that were so, the world would be a lot poorer too. It's all in good fun, but honestly, he has changed my life for the better. He has always been there if I need to talk, bounces ideas back to me and listens to all I have to say... I just can't say enough good things about him.
The next time you reexamine yourself, think about your friends. Have you been there in the way that you'd want them to be there for you? How can you do better? Have you given yourself wholly to them? One day maybe I'll get there. But I'm young, and I'm still learning. Thankfully I've got time...