Twenty-five.

Today, I turned twenty-five years old. A quarter of a century. To put that into context, I went and found what a few other people in history had accomplished by the time they were my age. Here’s a sampling:

  • Orson Welles coscripted, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane.
  • By this age, Charles Chaplin had appeared in 35 films.
  • PT Barnum bought a “160-year-old” slave woman and began a career in show business.
  • Janis Joplin made her first recording, “Cheap Thrills,” which grossed over a million dollars within a few months.
  • Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly alone across the Atlantic, thus winning a $25,000 prize.
  • Fayette, N.Y. farmhand Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
  • French engineer Benoit Fourneyron invented the first waterwheel turbine. JD Salinger began regularly writing for The New Yorker.

So I began thinking of what I had accomplished in twenty-five years of life. Compared to the people I’ve listed above, I was beginning to thing that my accomplishments were relatively insignificant. That was, until I received an email from my good friend that made me realize that perhaps I wasn’t all too insignificant at all. Here’s a small quote:

You are one of the most loving, wise, caring, compassionate guys I have ever known.
You are so thoughtful.
You are so loving.
You care so much about others.
You are sweet.
You are kind.
You are patient.
You are helpful.
I can talk to you about anything.
Anything.
For all of these reasons and others, I’m so glad that you were born.

And I realized that I didn’t need to invent something or be famous or even be a successful writer to have had many accomplishments. All I really want to do is help make people smile. As long as I can do that from time to time, then I know that I’ve accomplished more than I could have ever hoped for over the past twenty-five years. Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to do just that.