Last week I stopped at a rest area while driving from Charlotte to Raleigh. The men’s section was exceptionally clean compared to most interstate rest stops. I saw one of the attendants pushing a mop bucket. I went to him and thanked him for providing such a clean rest area and how much I appreciate his work.

His smile radiated from every part of him. He stood taller, his eyes brighter. He thanked me as though it were the first compliment he’d had on his job.

That one-minute exchange with a stranger helped two people that day: the rest area attendant, and me. A moment of happiness shared with a stranger made me happier the entire day.

Ironic, isn’t it that we look everywhere for our own happiness when all we have to do is give it to someone else.

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“You gotta be tough if you’re gonna be stupid.”

I heard that phrase many times from my father. He never used it when I did stupid things. It was his way of commenting on his mistakes in life.

By that witticism, I must be the toughest man I know.

Once while teaching my grandson how to use a handsaw safely, I explained what he should not do. I used the gash across my thumb and blood on the saw to pass my father’s wisdom from son to grandson.

He lives in New Zealand now, and my granddaughters have no interest in the activities that can toughen you in an instant. Just as well.

I’m tough enough.

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Howard L. Keziah

Howard L. Keziah

Founder and former CEO of Impact Technologies Group (merged with Zuryc). Now I’m free to go down whatever rabbit hole captures my attention.