by John R. Greenwood
Interviewer: What are you good for?
Gray O. Mann: I am good for many things. For one thing, I answer calls of distress late at night while others sleep soundly in their beds.
Interviewer: What value do you have?
Gray O. Mann:My value depends on demand. When things are mired down and volunteers have dried up, my value rises. When others turn their backs and run, my value inches forward. When others fail to listen because of selective hearing, my value creeps higher.
Interviewer: Are you important?
Gray O. Mann: The word important is subjective. I treat people as I would like them to treat me. I think that is very important. I never litter and I always obey STOP signs. I think that too is important. I respect the opinions of others. I hold doors open for men, women, and children. I say, "Please" and "Thank you." I feel that is important.
Interviewer: Are you relevant to the world?
Gray O. Mann:Will they mention my passing on CBS Sunday Morning-probably not. Will the world slow a bit when I'm gone-not even a hiccup. But I can't help but think if all the Grey O. Mann's in the world were to suddenly disappear overnight, there might be a reason for some concern.
Interviewer: Do you have a purpose?
Gray O. Mann:My purpose is to give my best. If Gray, does his best and Gray's children do their best, and Gray's grandchildren follow the foot steps of Grandpa Mann we have at least increased the odds that others will follow.
Interviewer: Are you useful?
Gray O. Mann: I am worn and smooth. On the outside I appear old and rusty. My usefulness has long been forgotten. I hang still on the fence. I remain strong and true; my spirit tempered and straight. I am left here absorbing the beauty of my surroundings, bothering no one. As the masses pass by, they do not care of my usefulness today or yesterday. They blink for a moment and wonder what was I used for so long ago. Then time grabs their hand and yanks them away, leaving me here hanging, hoping someone will find another use for me someday soon.