I graduated from Village Christian High School the year after Fast & Furious star Paul Walker did. Many of Village Christian Schools’ students attended from elementary all the way through their senior year of high school. Each graduating class at that time was about a hundred people. Village was like a village, where everybody knew everybody, or at least knew about them.
Since Walker’s tragic death Saturday, media reports have eulogized his generosity and kindness. The press portrays him as a movie star with the heart of Jimmy Stewart’s most beloved characters.
But we live in a deeply cynical age. Our version of virtuous honesty requires that we first tear down our heroes before we can believe in them. I fear the same fate could befall the actor’s memory.
Back in high school, Paul was the kind of guy who reached out to people he didn’t know. He shared his life by personally investing himself with those whom you wouldn’t have expected him to. (He even came to my class’s reunion though he wasn’t in our class.) He really did have a big heart. There was a part of him that did not like the movie business. He was constantly saying “I want to get out of Hollywood and do something more meaningful,” but making movies provided him a great means to bless others, as the world now knows.
What you are reading in the media right now about Paul’s kind spirit is not PR hype. That’s the person my classmates knew. He was the kind of guy who didn’t provoke jealousy. He made you glad he was successful and famous, because you knew he was doing good with it.
I hope the public honors he is now receiving will move those with his opportunities and his resources to follow his example of generosity and service.