Conversation with a stranger

I had a very pleasant conversation with a retired 75 year old black gentleman from south side of Chicago on a recent plane ride. He was looking at homes in Florida for a winter home. He said he's getting way too old to spend his winters in Chicago. When he asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a dentist. He seemed surprised and asked me how old I was. I think he was trying to make sure I was old enough to be dentist (one of the downfalls of still looking like a high school senior). He asked me for advice on implants. He was interested in implants to replace his missing teeth. After I gave him some advice, he went on to give me some insightful life advices of his own. Just wanted to share some of his advices.

-"Travel as much as you can. Go and see as much of the world as you can. Always have your passport ready and just go when the opportunity presents itself. Trust me, you won't regret it."

-"Work hard and be passionate about your work. If you don't have passion for your work, then you're probably not happy with what you're doing. Don't waste your time doing something you don't enjoy. Find what makes you happy and do it with passion."

-"I love people. I chose to be happy everyday. The way I see it, why go through life being angry when you can be smiling."

-"Support your family. You may shake your head sometimes and call them idiots, but they're still you're family. Be there for them."

-"Don't rush into marriage. Find a good girl. There's a lot of pretty girls out there, but they're not always good for you. Don't let your lust get the best of you. Don't let a girl control your life. Wrong girl can give you a whole world of trouble. Always be true to yourself. Find a good woman, hold on to her and be good to her."

-"Save your money. Don't buy things you don't need. Invest your money. Material things may seem nice at first, but they fade."

-He told me there's only one thing he regrets about his life. That he didn't spend enough time with his kids. One of his son passed away from cancer when he was in his early 30's. He told me, "I wish I would've spent more time with my kids. At the time, I didn't realize it. But, looking back there's so much time I missed being with them. I realized too late that I had my priorities wrong. When you have kids, treasure your time with them because they are a blessing from God."

We both agreed that Derrick Rose was a nice kid from south side of Chicago and it's a terrible what's happened to him these past few years. We both hoped that he will come back healthy because that will be great for the city. I told him I've never been to a Bulls game, and I hoped to be season ticket holder in the future. He told me, "Hey, if that's what you want go for it."

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