Several years ago, when I visited a friend in the hospital after the heart attack that eventually lead to his passing, he imparted to me a piece of wisdom that I believe only a dying man can fully grasp.

He told me that when all is said and done, you don’t judge the quality of your life by what you have accomplished or acquired but by the caliber of people you shared it with; Not just romantic relationships, but all the company you have kept, be they friend, colleague or mere acquaintance.

He said that the quality of your life is, ultimately the collective quality of the moments within it and that when you gauge the quality of a moment, it is not so much about how much money you had, what you were doing or what good or bad you were doing for yourself or others, but rather the quality of the people you shared that moment with.

This was not the only wisdom passed on to me by the late Austin Ruiz-Esparza, but of all the things he taught me, this has had the most profound and most positive impact on how I live my life.