Monday, April 13, 2009

Lessons From A Life Well-Lived, Remembering Beau Jacobson

Last week Beau Jacobson died, 2 months shy of his 24th Birthday.

I played college football with Beau at a small school in the Pacific Northwest. He was a great friend, a great teammate and an incredible man.

Beau lived life to the fullest and his death is a bewildering tragedy. Beau was a man of character. He was honest, kind and caring. His good nature always brought smiles to those around him. He worked hard and expressed unwavering loyalty to his friends and teammates. He was immensely fun to be around, although he never tried to be funny, he just was fun.

Although Beau's death is a tremendous loss for everyone that had the great pleasure and blessing of knowing him, hopefully we can enrich our world by applying the lessons that Beau taught us.

One lesson I learned from Beau, was that regardless of circumstance we must always defend the less fortunate. Beau had the courage to stick up for the little guy in every situation. Beau spread unlimited kindness during his short life. He knew that we should all have character, not act like one.

Beau also showed us the power being true to oneself. Beau did what was right, without concern for what was popular. He also loved new challenges and adventures. He would spend his summers fighting forest fires and after he graduated, he moved to Fiji to live life on his terms, doing what he loved and enjoying the heck out of it.

Diligence and perseverance characterized Beau's athletic career at the University of Puget Sound. He made the most of his athletic abilities by training and improving himself every year. As a freshman he saw playing time, but did not receive any all conference honors. As a sophomore he earned an honorable mention, as junior he was name Second Team All-Conference. Finally, in Beau's senior year he as named First Team All NWC for his excellent play as a defensive tackle.

Beau had a wonderful sense of optimism and good cheer. He had the incredible ability to brighten your day with just a smile and laugh. His positive energy always lifted the spirits of everyone around him.

Beau lived life to the fullest, shortly after graduating from college he moved to Fiji where he enjoyed tropical weather, free diving and spear fishing. He was a man's man and a guy whom I was proud to call a friend. Beau really savored life. He lived more 24 years than most people do in 84 years. I will always admire him.

Beau taught us a lot by the way he lived his life. His death although tragic teaches us a powerful lesson about keeping things in perspective. The day I learned of Beau's passing I marveled at the juxtaposition of my friends facebook statuses. Almost all of my college friends had statuses that reflected the tragic loss of a cherished friend. Sandwiched directly in between two of the Remembering Beau statuses was one by a college cheerleader (she goes to school in another state and never had the great fortune of meeting Beau) her status read, "L!$@ is studying at the library. FML (FML is short for F#@* My Life).

I was stunned. I'd spent the better part of the afternoon editing a tribute video of Beau while wiping intermittent tears and here was a person that was studying at a nice, warm, quiet library, learning new things and enriching her life and deemed such an experience worthy of an FML. Unbelievable. Far to often we as Americans get so wrapped up in ourselves and our own self-indulgent pettiness that we become totally unaware of what real loss, hardship and pain are. We think of things in terms of what we have to do instead of what we get do.

I'm determined to apply the wonderful lessons that Beau's beautiful life so clearly illustrated. We should all do our part to live up to Beau's standards, now that he is gone there are some rather large shoes to fill.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My mom googled beau's name and this came up. She printed it out. I read it and it brought tears to my eyes. You are an amazing writer. This piece is beautiful.

Thanks for painting a picture of beau's life for those of us who only knew him when he was young!!!

Thanks so much,