Monday, August 6, 2007

Musings on turning 42

Good day!

When a person reached 42 years of age centuries ago, it was a rare enough event that you were considered an elder to have reached that milestone. Nowadays, many people's lives do not really begin until they reach their 40's as it is around that time that they really discover what their life is meant to be and so they really begin to live life at that point, having been empowered with new direction, resources and drive.

As I make my way through my 40's, I could not help but reflect on a lifetime of 40+ years. I remember one night sitting on my deck watching the falling stars that were in abundance and two thoughts came to mind – abundant blessings and gratitude.

My life has been a plethora of unique and distinct events and interactions that have brought me to this point. Some were incredibly difficult at the time as are challenges that we all face at some point in our lives. Some were incredible blessings that I may or may not have seen as blessings at the time. Whether they are still viewed as challenges or blessings depends on your perspective – were they problems or learning opportunities and gifts? I believe they were all opportunities to learn, grow and improve as a person.

One thing I do not believe in is coincidences. I believe that everything that occurs in our lives occurs to make us better people, to help us along a journey that many people over the years have studied, pondered and written about.

I believe that each of us was meant to cross paths at some point in our lives. Sometimes it was just to provide an opportunity for one to offer insight to another. Perhaps we were meant to learn from each other in some way. Sometimes someone in need really appreciated someone else being there to help him or her through a difficult time. Maybe the reason we crossed paths was so that we could learn more about ourselves and from that learning experience, could elevate ourselves to the next level of our existence. Perhaps it was so that we could be blessed by introducing new lives into the world.

Whatever the reason, I believe I am a better person because of knowing each of you. I am grateful for the things you have taught me and for the things I learned from having known you. Some of us have known each other for a long time, others only briefly. However, each of you has made a dramatic, indelible stamp on who I am and I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I think it is important to sometimes sit down to take inventory of our blessings. In this fast paced world that we live in, a world seemingly designed to score people on how important we are, how much further ahead we are in the race, etc., we lose sight of the importance of the people who have made a difference in our lives and who will continue to make difference in our lives moving forward. This difference can appear to be slight or dramatic. However, given that each difference makes us better as a person, it makes them all invaluable.

When people ask me about the things I have done in my life, they are amazed by it. When I ask them about their life, they are modest and yet when I coax their story out of them, I am even more amazed by theirs. I met with Pauline and Ravi (both members of this group) last week in Redmond and I found their stories to be amazing and powerful (and I hope they will share their stories with you soon)! When people like Keith (on this group) tells me his REAL passion, I am inspired by it and encourage him to go for it. My great friend Jonathan has incredible passion to make a difference - a passion that inspires everyone who comes in contact with him. Everyone you come in contact with has a great story - encourage them to tell it, stoke their desire and passion and take their story to new heights. Each of you has such a story - let's not be too shy to share it with others. I think sometimes that being modest about life causes us to forget what a miracle this thing called Life really is and how truly abundant our blessings really are. When we stop to contemplate how incredibly diverse and abundant Life is, then we really open our eyes and our hearts to the true potential that Life offers.

So I thank each of you for everything you have offered to me. Sometimes I did not see the gift for the beautiful thing that it was. Sometimes I let people down because I was not grateful enough or wise enough to understand the gifts before me. For those situations, I can only say that I was (and still am) a learning human being.

I expect (demand) at least another 60 years of good living. Good living to me means giving before getting, appreciating the abundance of gifts all around me, appreciating our individual talents, believing that everyone here has a purpose and when they come in contact with you, that part of their purpose is to influence you (and you them). They are teaching you something, even if you don't realize it – so be grateful for the interaction as it occurs.

Good living also means saying thank you a lot, not because it is expected but more when it is unexpected. It means spontaneous, random acts of kindness. It means helping others when they need it but don't necessarily ask for it. It means making a difference in people's lives, especially children's lives. I came across this quote the other day and it really struck a nerve with me.

"A hundred years from now, it won't matter what your bank account was, the sort of house you lived in, or the kind of car you drove, but the world may be different because you were important in the life of a child."

I will close this brief musing by saying thank you again. I give you credit for the strong points of my life and my character and I take responsibility for continuing to work on the things that need to be improved. Hopefully I can repay your gifts to me by passing on similar gifts to others.

So I leave you with the notion of "tag – you're it". Pass some thanks along to someone you haven't thanked in a while. As the story goes that the slightest air from a butterfly's wings in Asia can grow into a powerful hurricane on the other side of the world, so too can a "thank you" grow into something wonderful as it spreads.

Yours in peace and friendship. Create a great day!

Harry Tucker

No comments:

Post a Comment