"People, even more than things, must be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone."
This is a quote attributed to the legendary British actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
What's just as impressive as this statement is where I found the message. The quote was one of 365 I received in my email in the last year from Bob Hunter.
He and a friend, Chip Morgan, a senior IT engineer at Norfolk Southern Railway, have a system of sending uplifting messages to anyone who requests them.
They call their effort Keepers.
You can see their reservoir of quotes at keepersquotes.livejournal.com. Or, you can request a daily email from Hunter by emailing him at rh.uwnu.org.
Anyone who knows Hunter realizes that Keepers isn't the only way he raises the community to new heights, one person at a time.
His efforts have earned him the Ogden-Weber Chamber's Hall of Fame Award this year from the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce. He is to be publicly touted next weekend.
The honor may seem fitting for anyone who could direct the efforts of the United Way of Northern Utah for years.
But I believe Hunter's selection goes much deeper than his title or even the sum total of the many blessings he has bestowed.
Today, I'd like to shed light on something besides Hunter's many accomplishments in transforming the Top of Utah.
I'd like to point out a dark time in Hunter's life because I believe he looks there for the power to become a beacon in the shadows of the most difficult of struggles.
Without detail, I'd like to mention that Hunter, a promising former Weber County commissioner and former Ogden City administrator was beat by the youngest -- and in my mind at the time, the least-known -- man in history to become mayor of Ogden, Matthew Godfrey.
Hunter recalled to me once how it was the next day, when there were those who never questioned that he would win, who hadn't yet read the Standard-Examiner, who congratulated him as he took down his campaign posters.
My purpose today is not to lament. Instead, I celebrate.
Because I know that Hunter transformed himself at that moment and during others that were particularly impossible.
I believe during these smoke-filled trials, he became the man who is worthy of being named to the Ogden-Weber Chamber's Hall of Fame.
Today, I celebrate that Hunter is not alone in his pursuit of edifying others.
The Top of Utah is filled to overflowing with do-gooders like him who seem to recite the New Testament Scripture Proverbs 4:18 in their very being:
"The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day," reads the New International version of that Scripture.
Throughout my life, I have had many other friends like Hunter, who served as beacons to those who wander in darkness.
There are too many to mention all of them. But I'd like to talk about one.
Clearfield resident Cheryl Adams is much more of an ordinary soul than Hunter.
She is a single, middle-aged woman, living alone in an apartment, who works in an ophthalmology clinic every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., who goes about her routine week after week.
In the process, for the last year Adams has found joy in raising others up to their potentials whenever and wherever she can.
She is my Facebook friend. And every day about the time she gets off of work, I can count on one thing from Adams -- a barrage of positive messages and affirmations.
One of my favorite was attributed to Mary Anne Radmacher.
"Just stop it," the quote reads. "Seriously. Whatever it is. Just stop it. If only for an hour, a day, a week. Stop doing it long enough to get a glimpse of what the change would actually look like."
Adams, who said her strength comes from spirituality, not religion, said she also keeps a positive affirmation journal for herself -- and sometimes she puts one together for others she believes are in need.
"If people would share their love more, the world would be a lot better place, if you ask me," Adams said.
I decided to ask her how she came to this conclusion and how she set herself on a course to go about the effort with such passion. And I learned that, like Hunter, Adams knew a bit about confusion and darkness.
She told me that she had been in a marriage that kept her feeling isolated and alone for 25 years.
"Before I broke it off, I decided I needed to get stronger," she said. "I kept getting deeper and deeper in the swamp. ... I stopped and said, 'This has got to be something different. I can't think these negative thoughts anymore.' "
When she broke free of her bondage, Adams said, she worked to keep any hard feelings at bay.
"When I forgive myself, I can learn to forgive and love others," she said.
Adams said she consciously decided not to hate, no matter what the circumstance.
"Forgiveness is a huge thing for me," she said. "I don't hold any grudges. I don't hold any anger. I don't want to hold grudges. I want to be free of all judgment and anger and anxiety."
Adams said forgiving those she felt had harmed her was "the most liberating day" of her life.
"I felt like I could conquer the world," she said.
Adams said she learned that when she didn't judge others and loved everyone for who they were, her mind was opened up to the possibility of unconditional love.
And now she feels the most elevated when she shares this message with others.
"I see people and I try to help them," she said. "God puts them in my way."
Adams said the more uplifting thoughts she sends to others, the more significant she feels herself.
"I couldn't believe how the more I thought positive, the stronger I became," she said.
Contact reporter JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @jfrancis.