Reagan's Legacy

Did you ever have something very happy and then something very sad happen almost at the same time? It did for me.

I was kicking off a media tour around the country for my book, "More Than Money," for which I'm very excited. The crowds are big. The enthusiasm was even bigger. My uplifting message of hope in the book is clearly resonating.

And then came the sad news about Ronald Reagan (search). The Great Communicator was gone. There’s not much uplifting there. Until I start revisiting some of the very folks I profiled in my book.

Folks like petrochemical billionaire and multiple cancer survivor Jon Huntsman, who I visited in Salt Lake City yesterday. Or Joe Torre, with whom I caught up with as well.

Huntsman was quite close to Reagan. Torre just admired Reagan.

But it's what each admired that struck me, and stuck with me.

It wasn't his policies, or decisiveness. It was his attitude and, if you can believe this, his smile.

The guy was always smiling, always joking, always making those near him feel good.

And then it hit me: That's a common quality of great men and women. And the common quality in the very people I profiled in my book. All self-assured enough to not worry whether they smiled enough.

They smiled a lot -- through tremendous pain and often tremendous loss.

Just like Reagan did with cancer and an assassination attempt, Huntsman did with his cancer and Torre with his cancer. And a certain congressman did with his terrible affliction -- you'll meet him on Thursday.

My point on this day, is this: Those who smile in the face of adversity, have a way of bringing all up with them in adversity. They make us think better of ourselves and our future. Ronald Reagan did that. And we can all aspire to that.

The Gipper wasn't in my book. He didn't have to be. He could have written it himself.

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