What Matters: To Make a Difference

Norm's Photo GalleryNorm's Photo Gallery 2

Earlier this year, my Uncle Norm died. Some of you who have subscribed to my newsletter over the years may have seen his comments. “Stormin’ Norm” shared his 2 cents frequently and always had something wise and insightful to say.

We miss him. So I’m thinking of Norm’s life on this Christmas Eve since it’s time to celebrate a new life – the birth of the Christ child.

Norm kept pictures of family and significant life events on a paneled wall hanging over his kitchen counter. There are pictures of his son and daughter, nieces, nephews and their children, his friends and my Mom, his only sister, among many others.

There are pictures of skiing at Vail. He was informally known as the “Mayor of Vail” – he’d lived there since the early 70’s and knew most of the old timers and founders.

His whole wall was dedicated to family and friends. People are what mattered most to Norm, even though he lived alone the majority of his life.

During times when tragedy strikes and we wonder why bad things happen, especially during the Christmas season, the message below helps get me grounded. I hope it lifts up your spirit and gets you centered on what matters most.

I want to thank you for being here, for reading what I have to say and for passing along messages that might make a difference to others.

Warm wishes and a very Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Laura Benjamin

To Make a Difference (University of Rochester graduation address, adapted from American author, Leo C. Rosten)

“Where was it promised us that life can ever be easy or free of conflict and frustration and loneliness and pain? Those who yearn for the refuge of bliss can find it in tranquilizers or narcotics. To me, the purpose of life is not to be happy – it is to matter. To be productive and responsible, to be honorable, to be dedicated to goals higher than the infantile self – to have it make some difference that you lived at all.”