Lastly, I have learned that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon. It is for this reason alone, if for no other, that you should cherish each moment with the people you love. Live for the future, but cherish the moments that take you there. Credentials on the wall do not mean a thing if you live your life as a living, breathing, dumb-ass.
That is why I value most my friends who believe in me and work hard to keep me from being a dumb-ass. To quote one of my heroes in the day-to-day battles of this world, "Don’t be a dumb-ass." Not bad advice in today's trying times.