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Gary probably should have known better and if, as he dropped to the floor, he had time to reflect on the error of his ways, I doubt he would have uncovered any startling new truths about what was happening. Gary was a living, breathing (for a short while) coronary about to happen, a time bomb on a short fuse. It was written all around his 50+ inch waistline and all over his florid complexion.
He enjoyed things immensely; beer, chicken wings, all manner of sports (viewed from the comfort of his chair). The only remotely healthy thing I can recall about him was an interest in a slo-pitch baseball league. It was this activity that immediately preceded his sudden demise. Gray B. and Healthy Lifestyle lived at opposite ends of the thesaurus. Both his personality and his appearance could best be described as jolly. He had the features and complexion of a Coca-Cola Santa and a ready laugh to match. He nurtured a healthy disrespect for authority and delighted in popping the balloons of the pompous. Add a smiling wife, two adoring children, a little house in a little country town, a secure and relatively undemanding job and you’ll understand why I was just a tad envious of my good friend Gary.
He was about to say goodbye in another sense too. At least this one was planned. He had a job offer and a successful interview was about to allow him to follow another dream. Just days after accepting donations for his farewell gift and organizing a small bash, I was collecting money for his floral arrangement. This was unfair on a grand scale worthy of a Greek Tragedy. So why was it that after I delivered the condolences of my staff (Gary was one of my employees) and attended the small-town funeral, I still eyed Gary B. with a touch of envy? Some are given a little and some are given a lot. If the short end of that measure is spent well it can balance, or even offset, the greater measure. Gary took great and obvious delight in what he was given. If he had taken less or savoured it less, would he have sampled it longer? Would he have bothered? I had my doubts at the time.
This is what I call The Gary B. Principle and I wasn’t aware of its full impact until some years later when I stumbled across Lesson #08.
He opted for quality over quantity. He ended the game, one out of two.
Lesson #07 – Quality – The Gary B. Principle (see Lesson #8)