Occasionally I like to go back and read or reread my previous posts. In going over the “Turtle” posts it seems as though I’ve actually missed what should have been the central point. In every instance, the thing that actually brought about the growth/change/positive in my life was…..
You see, in retrospect, I have come to realize that every significant stepping stone in my life either initiated or facilitated by amazing individuals.
My interest in reading? It’s so obvious that I missed it! Books don’t exist in a vacuum. They are the physical manifestation of a person’s thoughts and ideas. Yes, what is in those books has changed my life – but a person put that stuff in there. It’s fair to say the book didn’t do anything but allow the author to reach me. Writing is after all merely a form of communication. Yet beyond this there is a deeper reality. Several people ‘moved’ me toward books. Most notably was my mom. Mom loves to read. And like any passion that we actually LIVE (as opposed to just giving it lip service) her ardor was contagious! Beyond that, there was a teacher that I recall reaching out to me at a young age, who questioned me about my interests. She sought out my sense of wonder & my curiosity, and then suggested that the ‘answers’ could all be found in a Library. And here is what got me: the idea that everything that I wanted to know, everything I hoped to discover about the world and about myself would be opened up to me and made clearer by reading about it! The truth of this has never failed me.
My interest in the science of life was clearly brought about by my teacher’s own love affair with it. Read about it here:
Obviously, the biggest change in my life was caused by meeting my one true love, Martha.
My passion for martial arts? Easy, I had an interest, like many people, but it was the MUTUAL interest shared with a friend that actually got me there. My close friend & co-worker Kevin and I would talk for hours about the idea of Martial Arts, both the realities and the fictions. Only later did we learn that our ‘knowledge’ was so off that we had BOTH wrong. I bring this up to stress the importance that we play in the lives of others. We all believe that we should support our friends, but for many people that is passive. I will not belabor the point beyond this: passive support is no support at all. The true friend, true stalwart, shows their advocacy by moving their feet more than their tongue. Kevin didn’t just encourage me, he challenged me to do something about my desires: and he did it with me. Priceless! Additionally, there was another person that was instrumental in my passion for the Martial Arts, Mr. Jae Chul Shin. Here was a teacher that had the ability to see deeper into me than I could see myself. He exposed to me the power that I only hoped to have. I am not talking about physical power here. When a student was about to give up, he knew how to pull out strength as yet untapped. There simply is no way to overstate the value of someone who can expose to you the inner resources we are blind to. Watching this video helped me to understand this concept:
It is so easy sometimes to forget the impact that each and every one of us has on the lives of others. The world of George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) underwent amazing changes, and the effect his life had on those around him became apparent only when it had been removed. Is your effect any less? I don’t believe so. In these posts I am mentioning a few individuals here and there, but in truth – each and every person that interacts with us leaves a ‘mark.’ A tell-tale that moves us this way or that, a trace that shapes our ideas, changes our future, and either moves us forward, sideways or back.
May God bless you all for what you have given to me. And I can only hope and pray that I, in some way, have aided you in your journey. Here, on this Earth, we have the opportunity to be the representative of good or of evil. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled into thinking you do not matter. And do not fall for the lie that you can be ‘neutral’. Doing evil can be merely the lack of doing good. What do you leave in your wake? For, like it or not, believe it or not, we all leave something of ourselves in our passing through each others lives.
Be a plus. Be the sunshine.