A Bittersweet Story
by Wendy Keller
I just got off a phone call with a friend I’ve had for 20 years, but we haven’t spoken for the last 7 or 8. As we caught up on what’s happened in those interim years, he told me that, among other things, he met Nelson Mandela and he worked for the UN on a tour of the Congo and other African countries! He worked with the USO for years helping the children of American servicemen and women cope with their parents’ deployment.
His life has been AMAZING! A far, far cry from the person I met all those years ago. When I met him, he couldn’t scrape two dimes together. He was giving more than half his week to charitable activities. He was setting off on a course for his brand new business that made little sense to me.
When I hung up, the only thing I could think about is the distance he’s traveled and the distance I have not. And I don’t mean geography.
I’ve spent my life raising a child alone (he and his wife have no children); coping with several life-slamming tragedies (I’m sure he has suffered too, but not the same things as me); and doing my work dutifully, not daring to dream too much because I didn’t have time, energy or resources to pursue my dreams anyway.
And that’s the piece that is echoing in my ears since the phone call: that my excuse is that I didn’t have the time, energy or resources to pursue my dreams. (Well, at least not the Very Big Ones. I have pursued some of the Medium Sized Ones)
This man made a different choice: he did it anyway.
Over the years, he adapted, he grew, he learned, he changed. He mastered those abilities. But he kept his dream clear in his mind. The vision for what he wants next is different than where he’s been, and it will take all those same skills – adapting, growing, learning, changing to get it.
The difference between my friend and me? Heck, the difference between him and most people? He Dares.
Do you dare?
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