I met Jimmy Buffett at a restaurant when I was a young man.

I had been a fan for years and thought because I had seen him in concert a few times and bought a lot of his albums that I had the right to interrupt his lunch with his family and tell him how much I loved his music. He wasn’t bothered at first, but I stayed a minute too long and he said, “Look, I’m trying to eat lunch with my family.”

I walked away angry, and I decided that I wouldn’t buy his albums or attend his concerts anymore.

But my anger clouded my reason—Jimmy Buffett didn’t want to talk with fans that day. He was trying to spend some downtime off the tour bus with his family. Perhaps he could have been more respectful, but I put him in that position by not respecting him.

Maybe you have been there too by prioritizing your desires over another persons needs for some time off, a break in work, or even a temporary pause.

Like many life lessons, sometimes the unpleasant situations are the ones that teach you the greatest lessons.

Since then, I’ve always tried to give famous people their earned space and privacy.

I’ve learned a lot from Jimmy Buffett over the years starting with that hard-to-digest lesson I learned as a young man.

Rest in peace, Jimmy Buffett, and thanks for teaching me a lesson that will last a lifetime.

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