I have a very good friend by the name of Leonard "Bud" Roach who grew up with my mom and dad and is a very interesting person. Bud has done it all, served his country in the Marines, ran his own business for 30+ years as an auto body man, world champion whole hog BBQ'r, been a good dad-grandfather-husband and one of his proudest accomplishments, a wonderful brother to his sisters.
Bud has stories after stories about his life, both good and bad. A couple of years ago we took him on a road trip to see a Jimmy Buffet concert and he kept us entertained with stories for the entire trip up, all day long and the trip back home. I've had countless one on one conversations with Bud and there's always a lesson once you leave.
I was at Bud's shop next to his house a couple of years ago and we started on the subject of helping people. Bud has quite the reputation around our community for helping people, especially those that appear to be down on their luck. This one particular evening seemed more philosophical than others so I just let Bud talk, happily letting him weave a good story filled with anecdotes and lifes lessons.
There was one night that Bud came to our now closed go-kart track with his sisters to ride the go-karts. At the time, Bud's sister, Connie, was having a losing battle with cancer. She loved racing and NASCAR and wanted to take a spin around our track one last time. Her health was failing fast and getting in and out of the kart proved to be quite challenging but with the help of Bud, his sisters and our awesome manager, Rob Gray, she finally got tucked into the seat and took off like a bat out of hell! Not sure how many laps she made it but it was enough to fulfill her inner soul with excitement.
As Bud recounted this story for me I noticed tears welling up in his eyes. He told me that Connie didn't live much longer after that night but when it was her time to go she seemed quite content with her life. Bud shared something with me that has stuck ever since and probably will for the rest of my life. He said when Connie was in her last days she told him that she was proud that she was a WE person and not a ME person. Bud told me that Connie said this a lot during her life, she'd say we all have two choices in life, we can choose to be a WE person and help people or a ME person and remain focused solely on ourselves.
Bud looked at me with his eyes filled with tears and thanked me for facilitating that go-kart ride for his sister, he said it's nice to surround yourself with more WE people than ME people. Now, I use that as a guiding light every single day of my life. It's very easy for us all to get caught up in the hurried aspects of everyday life and remain focused on ME but the real challenge and most rewarding is to live your life as a WE person.
"Birds of a feather tend to flock together" couldn't me more true here, I'm a WE person and plan on spending the rest of my life with as many other WE people in our community....thanks Bud and Connie.