As a cab driver, I met all kinds of different people. I came to the conclusion long ago that most people are inherently good. For the most part, everyone out there wants to be good and do good. I wanted to share a story about a guy my son and I met at a gym in Lake Las Vegas while we were on vacation:
We were exhausted from walking over 10 miles the day before. It was my son’s first time in Vegas, and because his brothers couldn’t come with us we brought one of his friends. Of course we had to show them the Strip and later that night we went to Fremont Street. We decided to go to the gym the next morning for a quick workout before breakfast, mostly so he could see the fancy gym in the spa at the Hilton we were staying at. We were really trying to fit in every activity possible into the short weekend stay.
We were in the gym about 30 minutes. The last five minutes we were there a guy started working out next to us and commented on how he thought it was cool I was working out with my son and how he used to do it with one of his foster kids. Of course this piqued my curiosity and we started up a conversation. I do this frequently with strangers, simply for the fact that I believe everyone has something to offer in conversation that will benefit me or them in some way. For some people it helps them to connect with someone. Others feel important when they can share a piece of themself with another. I’m one of those weirdos that thinks everything happens for a reason and that there is purpose in absolutely everything.
The chances of us meeting this guy are one in a trillion. I mean, what are the odds my and my son are in the same place as this guy at the exact same time? I thought that maybe having a conversation with this stranger at this particular time may prove beneficial. It did. I never caught his name, but here is his short story my son and I listened to:
He grew up in the South and had a drawl. He was about 6’2″ and told us in High School he played football and weighed 295! Big boy. He was awarded a full scholarship to a prestigious college and things were really looking good for him. During a practice with the JV team one afternoon with no pads a freak accident occurred. He was the center, and while he was resting his hand on the ball, the boy opposite him slipped and fell full-force with his helmet onto this guys forearm. It snapped. He couldn’t play anymore. He lost his scholarship, and attended a small community college where he started his education and met the woman who would later become his wife and the mother of their three daughters.
Fast forward to this day. He is now 50, very in shape, and has obviously adopted some good habits along the way. I asked him how many kids he fostered and why he decided to do so. He explained that his dad and brother were pastors, but he felt his calling was to help the youth anyway he could. He and his wife had fostered 11 kids along with raising his three daughters. He is now the Vice President of a world wide, multi billion dollar roofing company. He has a home in three states and lives a luxurious life. The fact that he has set himself up so well only to turn around and bless the lives of others, teenagers in particular, is something I respect.
I believe we all should strive to create a life for ourselves and our loved ones beautiful enough to share with others in order to inspire and help them any way we can. By doing so we go through difficulties and challenges, help others along the way, and are reminded of our humanity and how fragile life can be.
This guy didn’t have to do anything for anyone, but he knew that sharing his love and life with others would give him a more beautiful existence. You don’t have to be the Vice President of a successful company to help and inspire others and create a more beautiful, enjoyable existence for yourself on this earth. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly smile, talking to a stranger, tipping your waiter or waitress a little extra, or sharing a story. I was glad this man shared his story with me and my son. The thing that stuck out in my mind the most was when I said to him that he had been through a lot to have come so far. His response?
“Strength comes from adversity.”
Nobody has an easy life all the time. The difficulties we go through change us and build our character, or they destroy us completely. They choice is absolutely 100% up to us. Is what you are going through right now going to break you or make you stronger and better? Are your current circumstances going to destroy you or inspire you to change in some small way that over time may be the reason you have a break-through that leads to success and victory in your life? The choice is yours.
Every minute matters. Every second counts.
Choose to make this existence the best possible one you can-not just for you, but for those around you as well! Change what you need to in order to feel healthy and happy and everyone around you will benefit from it!
Consistency is key.