Good Guys

Posted March 11, 2011 by jimhigley

I hung out with a couple of really good guys last night.

My buddy, Jonny Imerman – founder of Imerman Angels 1-on-1 Cancer Support, was nice enough to let me tag along with him at the 2011 Jewish United Fund dinner in downtown Chicago. Jonny, hands down, is one of the most inspiring men I know. And, judging from the steady line of people I observe wanting to hug him and talk to him, I guess I’m not alone.

What’s so special about Jonny? I know him well enough to write a fairly long dissertation in response to that question. I also know him well enough to answer that question with brevity. Jonny takes time for people. He listens. He remembers. He encourages. He cares.

I dare you to leave an encounter with him without feeling alive. Ageless. Powerful. And hopeful.

Hanging out with him would have been good enough for me.

Bruce Feiler

The “Good Guy” quotient doubled, however, thanks to the night’s featured speaker, Bruce Feiler. Bruce is many things. Best selling author on faith, family, and the importance found in every day (for those of you who know me, you already can understand why I was excited). He writes a weekly column, This Life  for the New York Times, had a PBS miniseries and is gaining worldwide accolades for his book, The Council of Dads, which chronicles his journey through cancer and his recruitment of six men to play an active role in the lives of his two small daughters should his life be cut short.

I first heard about Bruce one or two years ago. His story resonated deep within me – for obvious reasons.

His talk to the room of several hundred people was as warm and engaging as his writings. For me, his most powerful message was to take a walk with a turtle…slow down, observe, embrace, be a part of your days.

Were the night a banana split, I would have been licking the bowl with my tongue.

After the hundreds of attendees had left, as the attentive support staff cleared tables and stacked chairs, three men were left talking. One of them was me. The others were Jonny and Bruce. Good guys, I thought to myself. I was truly in the presence of two very good men.

And best of all, we were doing nothing more than taking a walk with a turtle.