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“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw.

When we are born into this wild, complicated, endearing, and challenging world, we are all given the same opportunity: To rip open the fat orange of life with our fingers and gobble the flesh until the juice runs down our chins. But not everyone takes that opportunity. It’s really all about exuberance, and the practice thereof.

In spring we remember innocence, in summer it’s exuberance, we carry reverence with fall, and looking back on winter we recall a perseverance. But tell me truthfully, is it not always summer that strikes the most ardent chord in your recollection?

There is no sport, challenge, or contest that is not made more exhilarating with exuberance. But as with everything else, exuberance is oftentimes improved by a touch of discretion. Too much of a good thing can be troublesome: careless exuberance is finding yourself on the front line of the first charge, with bullets hissing overhead like angry wasps.

Exuberance by itself cannot replace good taste, or common sense, but combined with these ingredients the amalgam becomes a remarkable element in its own right, like the combination of sour cream, brown sugar, and strawberries.

Passion is the older sister of exuberance. It provides a more sturdy foundation from which exuberance can leap. It’s roots are deeper and its course more steady. When we are fortunate enough to find commitment, exuberance, and pleasure in one place, then we have fallen victim to passion.

There are those that guzzle exuberance from the goblet of life and there are those that sip, and there are those who never taste it at all, but I can tell you this: To carry exuberance in your breast is to never cease to grow, because you are always finding something new with which to be enthralled. I’m going to quote Crazy Eddie, a character in the second of my “Road To Key West” novels: “You gotta remember that this whole life gig ain’t about makin’ it to the grave all clean and shiny and well preserved. It’s about slidin’ in head first, roughed up, used up, worn out, and shoutin’ loud and clear, ‘Hot damn!  What a trip, dude!’”

Never be ashamed at your exuberance. Never fail to take that opportunity to cheer, to sing, or to stand up for what you believe, because no one knows when the curtain on your act will fall. Search out the things that raise your blood pressure, and never be afraid to challenge yourself or those around you.

I’ll leave you with a final quote by the incomparable Souza: “Dance as though no one is watching, love as though you’ve never been hurt, sing as though no one can hear you, and live as if heaven is on earth.”