Collateral benefit

A few days ago, Jason and I chatted on the phone, catching up on where life stands.

Not surprisingly, the conversation finished with a deep sense of inspiration from the words of my good friend. Even with a cancer diagnosis, Jason has one of those personalities that makes others smile, laugh and focus on the important things in life. He brings perspective.

And so it was his telling of a story that hit home with me. Ten years ago, after watching a former NDSU football teammate struggle with health problems, Jason said he made some personal choices – like buying the best life insurance he could – as a result. He described the decisions he and other former teammates made as a collateral benefit. While it’s painful to watch family and friends suffer, the collateral benefit can be giving us the wisdom, knowledge and strength to have a positive impact on others.

It’s conversations like the one with Jason that provides perspective on the most important principles in life. To make the most of our days, what are we doing to make others’ lives better? Relationships and connections with people are more important than possessions and job titles. Do the people who matter in our lives know what we think and how we feel?

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