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All Around You

My letter this week will be the last one for 2021. I will take a few weeks off to reflect, soak in, and meditate about all the good and the bad of 2021. I hope some of the interviews and conversations I have brought to your attention have been worthwhile and provided some inspiration to get involved in a cause or purpose greater than ourselves. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity through some unbelievable introductions to share some memorable podcasts and conversations with some wonderful people who are doing their part to make this world a better place.


It is gratifying to talk to so many kind hearted people out in our communities who are devoting their lives to helping others. The needs are great but luckily there are good people doing their part to help families without food and shelter, to foster kids that need love and attention, to enrich the lives of autistic and developmental disabilities students, to educate students that need resources for advancement, and to give second chances to incarcerated individuals. I know that I am just scratching the surface of all the great organizations and individuals that are providing their time, devotion, and love to causes that touch them personally.


I hope in 2022 and beyond I can refine my efforts to help others to reach more individuals and dive deeper into meaningful causes that need our support. Your feedback is important to me so please don’t hesitate to express it to me through calls, emails or even old fashioned letters.


Today, I would like to devote this time to a young man we lost this past Sunday. It is extremely hard for me to get my head around the pain and sorrow I feel for his parents, brothers, and family. To be honest, his challenge the past year, which was filled with significant mental and physical suffering associated with his cancer and therapy, has tested my spirituality and conjured up many questions about life and death that I can’t answer without an ample dose of anger, helplessness, despair, and sadness.


I can’t understand why a healthy 27-year-old man with an adventuresome passion for life was taken from us by a rare cancer. I know life is unfair, but my gosh why take him in the prime of his life? Anyone who has the fortitude and desire to hike the Appalachian Trail is a person that sees more to life than most others. He is an inspiration to all of us to make the most of our time on this earth.


Recently, I have worked out every Saturday morning listening to my favorite play list while trying to lose a few pounds. One of my favorite songs written and performed by Sturgill Simpson is “All Around You.” He wrote this to his young son when he was on the road performing and wanted to express his feeling that no matter what the world brings your way, eternal love and support will get you through all situations. To my way of thinking, this beautiful song is not only offered to a son from his father, but also can be flipped around as a wish from a son or daughter to their parents and siblings to make the most of their blessings and to know you have good friends All Around You who will love and support you.


I know Christopher would want his parents and family to celebrate life to the fullest, every single day. I promise I will do my best to be a good friend and help make that happen.

This music video is really powerful and the horns provided by the Dap-Kings truly makes it special. In my mind, I see Christopher playing the sax solo and telling the world and his family that he is Okay and to please stay together and make the most of your friends and future experiences.

All the best to you and your family,


Roger N. Steed



Donate to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Christopher's Name

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