What is the right stuff?

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Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

I recently re-watched the film “The Right Stuff” and was most impressed by the test pilot, Chuck Yeager. He was a straight-up-and-down guy, honest and a family man. After watching the movie, I found out that he died in 2020 at 97 years old.

Many people live simple but exemplary lives. They look after their families. They mind their own business. They don’t get involved in other people’s problems and affairs. These are the ordinary people. Like my grandparents when I was growing up – they never said a harsh word about anyone or anything.

People who look after their friends. Who are there for their friends when they hit hard times. People who can count their friends, their true friends, on one hand. These are the friends they cherish.

They know the difference between a real friend, someone who they have probably known for years, and an acquaintance. It’s sad how people who are merely acquaintances suddenly try to put demands on other people as if they were their friends.

Instant friendship is like instant coffee; it tastes nice on your first sip but leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth.

I read an inscription in an old country graveyard on the west coast that said, “A man who would give away his last fish.”

In these hard times, when a little girl knocks at your door for food, you give what you can, and more.

Even in things you read, you can sense whether the writer is being respectful to the reader. It’s in their tone, their choice of words, and the intent behind their language.

Honesty and being truthful are also important for a writer, actor, artist, or musician. Authenticity, no matter how hard it is to achieve in these times, is as valuable as gold.

When bad people come your way, and they will, with whatever motives they may have, you need to batten down the hatches. People like this can make you sick inside. It’s best to leave them alone.

I know several people who can, in an instant, sniff out someone who is just trouble to themselves and others. Their sixth sense is so developed that it helps to protect them from the wrong type of people.

What, then, is the right stuff?

I will leave it to you to decide. I’m not going to say what it is. I respect that you may have a different opinion.

In the snippets above, I have not named the quality that makes the right stuff. It’s all around you in the good people you meet.

You only have to open your eyes and ears to people and you will know exactly what it is.

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