Monday 5 Things with D. Paul Graham

Today marks some passages for “Monday 5 Things”, or as readers have come to know these musings, “M5T”. 

Six years ago this week, I wrote the first M5T from Tanzania while pondering life, marriage, faith, and business as the golden African dawn illumined the start of a new day. I have not missed a Monday since and I continue to be truly humbled by responses from readers. Today, M5T welcomes an even broader audience as the online digital edition of “South Magazine” will include these weekly missives.  I am honored both for the opportunity to share observations on life, and for the time you take out of your day to read M5T. 

Another passage of sorts occurred fifty-five years ago today when Maxine Graham gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. Even with my first breath, I was an early riser who couldn't wait to find out what my new world would entail. With M5T, I share annotations, deliberations, snippets of life, and moments in time. For new readers, welcome to M5T. And for all, today M5T considers the wisdom that can only be garnered from the passage of time, and a willingness to fully experience all that life unfolds to us each day.


1. Everyone wears a mask. 

Behind every mask is a story. Behind every story is pain, joy, fear, insecurities, and strength. Our lives are so much richer if we take the time to understand and listen to the real story behind the mask. It is then we will recognize true friendship.


2. Two or three decades ago, I thought I had all the answers. 

Today I realize I want to ask more questions so that I can learn from others. I seek the patience to persist, and the grace to be gentle. I hope to be sympathetic without sentimentality, and acquire the wisdom to appreciate that situations and challenges do not define who I am as a person.


3. Trusting may be harder than loving. 

Forgiveness is a mastered strength. Recognize the distinctions between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting, and being lavish and generous.


4. Give yourself permission to let ideas take flight.

Engage in deeper conversations. Listen. Stand by your convictions, but don’t be afraid to test your beliefs.


5. Lead by example. 

Always and in every situation. Be comfortable being uncommon. Cultivate a mindset of growth, nurture a heart unafraid to love, and a soul that is prepared for eternity. Run the good race. To win. 

Here’s to a week of progressing through passages, gaining wisdom, and living a full life. To read more about the greatest places to eat in the Southsubscribe now or pick up the latest issue of South magazine. 




D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business.  He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe, and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.  

You can find M5T each Monday here on and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook.  Paul is also a contributing photographer to South magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at