I know a guy who is clever, smart, and witty. He is well read and can discuss politics, religion, the Civil War, sports, and many other subjects intelligently and lucidly. His quickness of thought and cheeky tongue are legendary. I consider myself reasonably bright, but when we are together I'm definitely the dumb one. He never graduated high school and spent most of his adult working life behind the counter of a sub shop making sandwiches. He suffers from depression and he drinks too much. He is my friend and I worry about him.
He has high blood pressure and diabetes. He hasn't worked for over a year. Jobs are scarce here and when one does become available tens if not hundreds of people apply. He has less than five dollars to his name and I don't feel sorry for him. You shouldn't either. He doesn't. He knows the choices he made led him to this point. Still, he is my friend and I worry about him.
We were fishing the other day, having a great time, laughing, ribbing each other, catching nearly forty fish between us when he announced abruptly that he'd been doing some serious thinking and knew, finally, what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. He told me and I mumbled something back that was neither consoling nor relevant (I told you I was the dumb one), and continued to fish. His words, his plan of action, his new life's work hung with me like the Maine fog for a few days until it lifted and my head cleared and I understood the implications. He said simply, "I want to make people happy." I don't know (and neither does he) how he will accomplish this. I only know that even if he tries, it will, at the very least, make him happy. He is my friend and I am proud of him.