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A Flip of a Coin


In the summer of 1950, my dad and his buddy made the decision to join the military, but they were undecided on which branch to join. Navy or Army? So, how does a 17-year-old make a decision of this magnitude? With a flip of a coin, of course. Heads, they would join the Navy. Tails, the Army. In September of that year, my dad joined the Navy. It was just months after the start of the Korean War.

While in the Navy, my dad made many lifelong friends, learned the value of loyalty, and what it meant to have someone’s back. And, later in life, he attended most of the reunions for the U.S.S. Henrico, the ship he served on.

So, what would have happened if he had joined the army? I am sure he would still have developed great friendships and gained valuable life lessons there too.

The moral of the story is this. Where you find yourself today is not as important as what you do while you are there. Would you agree that a good neighbor is not defined by the neighborhood, but by the person who reaches out to the stranger across the street? It doesn’t matter if you find yourself in a dorm room, office, or classroom. What impacts your life is the kindness you show to the people who have been placed in your path.

So, next time you face an either/or decision, consider flipping a coin. Burgers or pizza? Flip a coin. Then, wherever you end up, get to know your server, thank the owner of the restaurant, and make great memories with the people you care about. Often, it’s not really about where you end up, it’s what you do while you are there that matters.

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