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Well, I had intended for this to be my 2,000th post, but I got caught up a thread and before I knew it, 2,000 had come and gone. At least, posting this after 2,010 posts gives me an easy shot at a title.

What a long, strange trip it's been.

I came to the Motley Fool in an unusual way, having first read one of the Fools' books (You Have More Than You Think),a nd discovering the site from there.

Since the book talked about the board community, it didn't take me long until I found the boards, and about a week after that, I was registered and posting. My first post was on the Credit Cards board ( 2,000-plus posts later, I'm still particularly proud of that one. I'm glad that, from the very beginning, I've been able to help others in some way.

As much as I've tried to contribute (and hopefully succeeded) I feel that I'll never be able to contribute to this community as much as I've benefited from it. To me, that's the beauty of this community, that we all contribute a little bit, and everyone benefits more than they could possibly contribute.

Ironically, the financial information is probably the least significant thing I've come away with from this site. The ideas of thinking for the long term, weighing priorities (there are more important things than money) and putting those priorities first, and thinking about the consequences of actions, and caring for your fellow person, are so much more important. I thank the community of people I've met here for helping me to keep those first and foremost in my mind.

What I've also gained are friendships, very real ones -- both on the Internet and with people I've since met (or soon will meet) in real life. These friendships are the most important gift at all, and my gratitude for them goes beyond words.

It is you, those friends who I speak about here (those who I've met, and those who I have yet to encouter), to whom I raise my virtual glass in thanks.

Here's to the next 2,000.

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