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'Live life until it ends'

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By Shannon Brock

Sometimes you need a reminder of just how valuable life is. My reminder came in the form of a man named Stanley Baldwin.

I met Baldwin at the Senior Citizens Center on Monday. He was the subject of an interview for a story that also appears in this issue of our paper.

Long story short, about four years ago Baldwin's kidneys started to fail him, and he's been on dialysis ever since, but instead of getting down about it and moping because of his situation, he prefers to keep a positive outlook on life.

The four-hour dialysis treatments, which occur three days a week, take a lot of his energy.

"But it's better than not living at all," he said. "I could be sad or upset about it, but I think it's better to live life until it ends."

Live life until it ends. It's a great mantra. He could have chosen to just be alive until he isn't any more, but no, he decided to take action and actually live his life.

And even though I only spent about 30 minutes in the presence of this man, I can tell he does more than that. I believe that by living his life, he inspires others to live their lives as well. I mean, he inspired me to write this column, which is pretty much proof that a positive attitude can be infectious.

So many of us - myself included - get down in the face of hardships, whether we're facing a life-threatening disease or just one of life's little road blocks. But something I've learned in my life, and something I would bet Baldwin has learned in his life, is that getting down or upset about things doesn't do anyone any good.

In the past year, I've been faced with a lot of things that I've had to learn to live with, move past or sometimes do both. Sure, another option would have been to dwell on those issues, but that would have just brought me down and, to be honest, brought down others around me.

So thank you, Mr. Baldwin, for being a reminder to me, and everyone else you encounter, to actually live a life worth living. It was a pleasure meeting you.