Think of all the people you have known in your life. From the earliest memories of childhood to your now. How many of those people do you still know and interact with? My guess is not many. Yet in some ways they are still with you.
Time and circumstance move us on and down that river we call life. Few travel with us the entire journey. Yet many leave impressions, which affect our course. Those with whom we have traveled teach us things. They show us different ways to view life, people, and God. They are tributaries to us and we serve as tributary to them. Together we make up the larger river of humanity. We are all going somewhere. We are all flowing to the delta that is life’s end.
What a ride it is. Throughout our lives we will know waters both treacherous and placid. We will experience the thrill of the rapids and the boredom of the doldrums. Upon the water we will see the reflection of breath taking sunrises and sunsets. On the river bank we will see changing landscapes and images we will treasure and store among our most special memories. The lucky ones will realize that all of this is a gift. Whether the sailing is smooth or the seas are rough - it is all a precious gift.
From the headwaters of this river we begin and at every confluence we blend with it. Those with whom we have traveled have melted into us and nourished our souls just as the nutrients we ingest become our bodies. We are a product of many. Our thoughts, our words, our actions are an assimilation of many thoughts and words and actions.
The wise will understand then that those with whom we travel will some day be a part of us and we them. Choose how you influence your fellow travelers wisely. Spread love, kindness, respect, good cheer, and honor instead of hatred, anger, and strife. Recognize the good in others and be patient with their shortcomings.
Someday our voyage will end. One cannot travel upstream to redo the past. So while you are able, choose the right stars to guide you. Travel with boldness and give your fellow sojourners your best. Take the best from them and pass it on.