Monday, March 19, 2007
Over the weekend, I attended a youth leadership conference in Logan with my city's Youth Council. During the conference (and this is the 3rd one I've been to now), we get to hear some really good speakers. My favorite from this year's conference was Mike Schlappi. He was accidentally shot by his friend when he was a teenager, and paralyzed from the waist down.
He has taken a horrible experience and used it to accomplish amazing things. He was on the US Paralympic Basketball team for 4 olympics, and he presents an amazing story to motivate those he speaks to.
In past years there have been other speakers that I have found to be similarly amazing, people who go through horrible things, but use those experiences to do more with their lives than those of us who have things pretty easy and just continue on day to day doing what we always do.
It really makes me wonder about motivation. What makes some people step up in the face of adversity when others retreat? What makes ordinary people decide to do amazing things? What would I do if I were to face any extreme challenge in my life, and why would I need to wait until then to make a difference in the world?
Where much is given, much is required. I know what it feels like to hurt, but my life has been pretty easy. I've never been hungry without knowing where my next meal would come from. I've never really felt like my life was in danger. I have a comfortable life, so what do I need to do with it? I try to be involved in good causes, I am trying to be more patient with my kids, and do things with them to give them healthy childhood experiences. I guess it's difficult to say whether our everyday actions are "amazing" or not, at least short-term. Maybe our goal should not be to accomplish amazing things, but to not waste the time we have. I can sit and come up with excuses about why I should rest and not do anything all day long, or I can do something with my kids to teach them to serve others.