Losing and Loss. Both can teach such strong lessons. But what we learn is entirely up to us. How we choose to view these potentially defining moments.
For example, Derek Redmond, a runner in the Barcelona Olympics was supposed to be a shoe in to win the gold, but the unexpected happened….
Imagine training your whole life for this one moment, and then something like that. I remember the first time I saw this… I knew it was a hammy. I’m pretty sure he did, too.
But he also knew he had a choice. What would you have done?
What he did blew my mind and had me in tears, applauding his courage.
His father ran out to him. (Yeah, that was his dad…who, in today’s world would’ve probably landed himself in jail at the very least for interrupting a sporting event.) He asked him what he wanted to do. At that point, there would’ve been no shame in giving up. But he didn’t come to the Olympics to give up! He may not have won, but he finished. And he had his father, who held off all the officials who tried to stop him, and the crowd supporting him.
In my book, that choice he made in what had to be one of the most devastating moments of his life, made him a winner. And someone to look up to.
And when it comes to loss, we have choices, too. Nothing has brought that home, lately, quite the way the attacks on Paris have. And yet, through the fear and terror…people reached out. Despite the danger, people reached out via Twitter to let others who were stranded and with nowhere to go where they could find a safe place, an open door.
The rest of us watched in both horror and heartache, offering what comfort we could by letting Paris know, much like they’ve supported us through some of our hardest times in history, that our hearts and thoughts were with them. We put up pictures and banners on Facebook, hoping to let them know we stood by them.
There was courage and friendship and unity. In that moment, it was all about love and support…as it should have been. (Unfortunately, that didn’t last, but that’s all about hate and politics, which I choose not to give a foot hold on my blog.)
I think we were all praying this sort of prayer for those stranded…. (I thought it appropriate to select a song from Les Miserables).
And in honor of all our French friends and allies… How awesome that this scene in Casablanca was already there for them when we needed a reminder that freedom requires folks to stand up and protect it?
So that’s what’s been on my mind lately… What about you?