The other day my wife and I were seated at our kitchen table eating breakfast. She was having coffee, yogurt, and some sliced fruit. I was staring off into space. She looked at me and asked, “What are you thinking?” I told her, “I think I’ve reached the point in my life where I could hug a tree and it would actually mean something.” She believed me because she knew that I meant it.

My attitude has changed over the years. I now believe in something. It is hard to describe what that something is. It is not a formal doctrine or neatly arranged religion, what I believe in is generosity. Giving something with the hope that what you give will make someone else’s life just a little bit more bearable. I do not always succeed; every now and then I give a really lousy gift. If you are someone who has received a lousy gift from me, I apologize and will try to do better next time.

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