Wanted to offer just a little bit to the passing of Paul Newman. I had the privilege of meeting him and spent a week with he and his family during the wedding of one of his daughters.
It’s funny how it is to be introduced to a cultural icon. On the one hand you feel sort of giddy with, “Oh my God… this is “so and so” and I’m hanging out with him/her.”, on the other hand it can be something much deeper. In other words, my experience with Paul and his family was that they were a good family and loved each other.
Paul and Joanne were gracious to everyone. I mean everyone. They treated all the people who served us throughout the week with respect and gratitude. They treated me with love and kindness, like I was welcome within their inner circle of family and friends without question.
People in the position of fame or power can often seem distant and remote. They may seem unconcerned with others, or “entitled” to all the tending they receive. Paul Newman was quite different. He made a point of engaging in conversations with people at the hotel, in the airports, at the restaurants or meeting places we all went to. I felt graced with an incredible example of how to behave in the world and grateful for the lack of pressure I have on myself because I am not famous or a person with high visibility in the world.
Over the many years that he offered aid to many organizations providing social profit (non-profit) to the world, he was tireless in his determination to provide support to causes he believed in. He also encouraged all the people who knew him to be philanthropic and give to organizations we wanted to support through his example. His commitment to individuals and society is something that he also expressed one on one, which is what I witnessed. I wanted to share this perspective as well as my own feelings of gratitude that I was able to know him.
He will be missed but he’s left a powerful legacy with his life. Hopefully we can take the example he offered to heart and treat each other with kindness and love.
My own sense of death is that it isn’t final. We keep one and other alive eternally by remembering the gifts our life provided to others.