Sunday, June 5, 2011

Balancing act

You know the saying "Life's not fair"?

well, at my high school's graduation on Friday, the speaker made a point about this message.

He wanted to impose wisdom on the graduates, and his words of advice were "Life's not fair. But don't ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER give up."

Imagine a big, older guy - linebacker who graduated in '66, with a deep, booming voice, practically shouting those words into a microphone at you. It definitely leaves an impression!

However, his story of one boy overcoming the odds - the kid who won districts in wrestling by figuring out that all he had to do was a takedown and escape, which gives him three points to his opponent's two every time. The same kid came out to the football field in seventh grade with his pads on backwards because he was going to be a runningback who was so fast they could only tackle him from behind. This kid was the most inspiring. The way Boomer (yes, that was the speaker's nickname) put it was "Charlie didn't know what he couldn't do, so he went ahead and did it anyways."

Charlie's story got me thinking. Yes, life is tough. Soemtimes you can be going along just fine when BOOM. two people near and dear to you get diagnosed with cancer within three weeks of each other. in between diagnoses your stepdad throws in a heart attack. Life is never going to stop testing our strength, and it will never, ever be easy.

However, if we all are like Charlie and just barge ahead, never restricting ourselves with imagined limits like "I can't", I think we'll all find that life can be just a little easier. Life is gonna throw curveballs, but Charlie's story is giving me hope that I can follow the pitch and smack that curveball right back.

It is all a balancing act. Don't focus on the good OR the bad. Take notice of everything. For every good thing there is a bad one, and for every bad there is a good. For every heart attack there is a renewed love of life. For every cancer diagnoses there is a community rallying for support. Just remember to look all around and balance yourself.

Be a Charlie.