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A hope note

I once wrote an article about three words that have lost their meaning in our time due to overuse: awesome (use it for rare, extraordinary events instead of tasty peanut butter or an entertaining movie); amazing (when everything is amazing, nothing is amazing); and absolutely (what’s wrong with simple yes?).
Two ‘A’ words currently sit atop my favorites list. One is amateur. The word comes from one of the first words Latin students learn: the word for love. True amateurs do things because they love doing them, not because it puts food on the table or looks good on a resum’. For example, I’m an amateur photographer. I don’t know much about apertures or bracketing. I make no money off the pictures I make. But I sure love looking for beauty in nature and, like a hunter who bags a big buck, bringing it home.
Anonymous is my other favorite word. Last week, I received the kindest card. Somebody wanted me to know how much she (the handwriting looks like a woman’s) appreciates my work. I wish I knew who sent it. That person did it to affirm me and make me feel special. I’m suspecting about half a dozen people, any of whom might have sent that card. I feel warmer and kindlier toward them all.
An unidentified person recently lavished the city of Erie, Pa., with $100 million to be divided among local charities. Did the person wish to remain anonymous because the money was obtained unscrupulously or illegally? I’d rather think not. I’d like to think that people sometimes do kind things, not to toot their own horn, but simply to make life better for others. Sometimes people amateurishly do loving things just because that’s who they are.

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