Eric Michael Stearns was a good fun loving kid, a Dean’s list student, the life of the party with his friends, highly motivated and destined for a bright future. He was a junior at Penn State University and traveling on a study abroad semester in Athens, Greece. On Aril 3, 2008 he was walking on the sidewalk with a friend when a driver lost control of his car, came up on the sidewalk and hit him. Eric died from his injuries on April 8, 2008.
Eric was born on January 17, 1987 to two very proud parents, my wife, Marianne, and I. Eric was a regular boy with one exception, he was born with size fourteen feet. I swear it’s true, or at least it seemed that way (his aunt says he got them from me). He was a deep thinker, a dreamer and he was filled with wanderlust. Eric was a dreamer and he loved to write. As a matter of fact he even wrote a book. He created characters that were so well developed it was as if he knew them like friends. I always wondered how he came up with them. He dreamed of being an author, and this was a source of some conflict for Eric because he also wanted to become a businessman. He wasn’t sure how he could do both, and he struggled with this for years, finally resolving it during his trip to Greece. Eric was a deep thinker. He would try to think of all angles of just about everything; this was both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because he was able to see things that other people didn’t necessarily see. He was able to listen to people and to watch their body language, and from doing this he could ascertain what was really going on in the other person’s mind. He was also able to predict things that could happen in many different situations by thinking through the possibilities and scenarios that might take place. It was a curse because he would sometimes read meanings into situations that just were not there.
Eric and his brother Stephen began their relationship as brothers and friends. In their teenage years, their relationship turned to sibling rivalry. This rivalry faded away into a true love and friendship as they got older. They affectionately referred to each other as “Bro” and became the best of friends. This is something that I had secretly wished would happen and that their relationship would always remain close as they grew up together.
As I was writing the book, I asked Stephen what qualities he truly admired in Eric.
He listed these: first, his creativity, his ability to think of stories and solutions that others wouldn’t necessarily come up with; second, his ability to influence people and circumstances; and third, his intelligent thinking. Eric was always one step ahead and knew what was coming next. I also asked Stephen what he most learned from Eric. He said, “Never to settle for second best. Eric always wanted to be the best at everything he did. He had a passion for life and always tried to achieve the best possible outcome in everything he did.”
I wrote the book “Perhaps a man Can Change the Stars for several reasons:
• To honor my son Eric and to do something good in his name.
• To inspire the readers to know that all people can strive to achieve their true potential and a more fulfilled life in spite of tragedy or any negative circumstances they are facing in their lives.
• To try to combine the lessons I’ve learned in business and through Eric’s death, which I hope readers will find of value.
You can find out more about Eric and the three lessons I learned from him by reading the book or participating in a Perpetual Potential Event.