What I Learned From My Friend Mike, Who Just Passed Away

Mike was nothing like me.  He was nice.  He never made enemies.  He seemed relaxed most of the time and had a way of encouraging others to relax, as well.  He smiled when he saw you and genuinely wanted to know about your day.  He was one of the most rare people of all: an authentically nice guy.

How did he do it?  How did he go through life making friends and getting along with nearly everyone he met?  I try to be like that, but I fail. 

Instead, I get on people’s nerves.  I try to help people and they think I’m being critical.  My natural introverted nature makes it difficult for me to get to know people, and I’ve just never been good at conversation.  It doesn’t help that I’m a grumpy guy who gets agitated for all the wrong reasons.  I do try to be patient, but it’s an uphill battle, and people like Mike seem to do it naturally.

So I marveled at my friend.  People liked him.  People who held to different religious/social/whatever views still liked him because he was a nice guy who never made anyone uncomfortable with his beliefs.

Can I ever be like that?  I didn’t know Mike as well as I would have liked, but I knew him well enough to admire him and wish that I could learn to love people the way he did.

Mike, you will be missed.

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