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Thursday, June 6, 2013

A CLASS REUNION EQUATES TO VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS


by Mary E. Gilder

                                                                                            
Weeks ago while sorting through hundreds of aged photos, my eyes settled on a photo of two friends and me on graduation day.  Most importantly, I recall that prior to me exiting the school ground; I stopped to take a final look at my classmates. Many I had known since grade school. Within that moment, I understood that hundreds of my classmates would never be seen again by me.  Interrupting my moment of sadness was a reminder that many would meet again at our ten year class reunion.

What I thought would be an eternity, came ever too swiftly. At my ten-year class reunion, I was thrilled to reunite with class-mates.  However, my excitement soon turned to disappointment. From the moment I entered the ballroom, most of my class-mates appeared to be recreating their scripts from high school. The interaction I shared with many I encountered resembled an interview.

1. Where do you live?
2. What college did you attend?
3. What do you do?
4. Do you own or rent?
5. What do you do?
6. Have you done much traveling?
7. What do you do?
8. Have you seen Fred, Ted or Jed? Well, let me tell you what it is they do
9. Again, what do you do?
10. If I haven’t mentioned, this is what I do.

The more things appeared to have changed…in actuality, they had stayed the same for several class-mates. Many of those who were arrogant, insensitive, rude…etc in high school showed no growth. There was energy in the ballroom, an energy reminding all that there was an expectation as it pertained to status and success. And many spent hours identifying those who had not lived up to the expectation.  I remember departing feeling grateful for having had the experience of seeing many of my classmates but there was also a profound sense of disappointment.

Now forward many years later during the month of July 2012, during this month I attended my class reunion with memories from many years prior. However, when I entered the event, there was a different energy in the air. There was an undeniable feeling of power. A power not based on status but a power defined by years of wisdom attained.

As I explored my surroundings I was greeted with hugs, smiles and handshakes. No one appeared to be concerned with
- My profession
- What car I owned
- My zip code
- My credentials
However, what appeared to be a consensus amongst the group:
- An appreciation for being alive and gratitude for attending the reunion
- An understanding of our many blessings
- The love we hold for our children and grandchildren
- Remembering our classmates who had passed on

We talked about what was most important and most importantly, we held the same beliefs on what that was. We agreed that family, friends, peace of mind, cherishing every moment and walking in love was most important.

I know without doubt time heals but time also teaches so many amazing lessons. How I wish that the lessons shared at my most recent class reunion, were learned prior to our ten year reunion. How less complex our life journeys would be if the lessons gained in our forties, fifties and sixties were available to us in our twenties; just a thought!

I challenge those who are far into their journey, to reach back and share with those less traveled about the lessons.  Share with them the importance of family, friends, good health, integrity, gratitude. Explain to them the importance of walking in love. Most importantly, remind them of how they are only here for a moment and the importance of treasuring their visit.

As you continue to journey I wish you Love, Peace and Continuous Joy,
Mary E. Gilder (Meg)

Mary E. Gilder is the author of the award winning novel, “A Misrepresentation of Myself.” Mary can be contacted at: meg@maryegilder.com or bookclubs.maryegilder@yahoo.com. Also, visit her website at: www.maryegilder.com.

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