As I sit here typing this editorial I am looking at a small piece
of paper that is taped to the top edge of my computer desk. On that paper
is written one of my favourite inspirational quotes. I look at it often,
especially when I come to a decision that could end up being a major
turning point in my life.
“Twenty years from now you will
be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the things you
did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch
the tradewinds in your sails. Explore! Dream! Discover!”
And so, this past
spring I decided that I would follow that advice and have embarked on a
personal journey which could allow me to start a whole new career of
service that will not only change the rest of my life but will also enable
me to make a real difference in the lives of the people around me. I
remember that as I was considering whether or not to accept this
tremendous challenge I would often stare at the quote above my computer
and I realized that if I turned down this opportunity I might regret it
for the rest of my life.
The thing that finally
convinced me to go ahead with my decision was a little article I came
across written by Larry Harp, called ‘Leaving The City of Regret”. Let
me share the story in the author’s own words. As you are reading it,
think about what is going on in your own life right now and see if Larry
Harp has a message for you in the story.
had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found
myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and
I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I'm talking about my
annual "GUILT TRIP."
got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short
flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it
myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what
might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the
Airport. I say international because people from
all over the world come to this dismal town.
I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting
the year's most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn't going to
miss that great social occasion. Many of the leading citizens in town
would be there.
there would be the Done family. You know, Should Have, Would Have and
Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol' Wish I Had
and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present; Missed and
Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterday's. There are far too many
of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share.
Shattered Dreams would surely make an appearance. And It's Their Fault
would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his
life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don't Blame Me and I
Couldn't Help It.
to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that
there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very
depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought
back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent
"pity party" could be cancelled by ME! I started to truly
realize that I did not have to be there. I didn't have to be depressed.
One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN'T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO
HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous,
fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left the
immediately and left no forwarding
Once I finished reading
the story I was convinced that there was only one real choice for me to
make. I simply had to step forward and accept this new challenge and the
opportunity to be of service to my community. And so here I am. No matter
what happens during the rest of my life, I will always have the
satisfaction of knowing that I tried. Of having thrown off the bowlines
and sailed from the safe harbour. This has been a personal journey of
discovery and fulfillment.
all else, I am happy and proud to say that I live on I CAN DO IT STREET!
is plenty of room on that street.
so, I throw out an invitation to all students to come along and be my
neighbour! Make sure that as you work your way through the education
system in search of meaning to your life you Explore! Dream! Discover! all
there is in your path. Accept new challenges with all of your heart and
give it your best. You may not always find success, but at least you won't
find yourself living in the City of Regret.