Is it a blessing or a curse?
Knowledge and wisdom always come with a price for self. The way you view the price paid can determine how happy and rich -or- unhappy and stricken you are in life. There are things I’ve experienced and that I know today that if I had the opportunity to throw them into a giant unknown black hole and never remember or see them again, I would.
Someone asked me why do I care so much about whether or not that Stretch succeeds? Why do I believe that people are just doing their best with the tools they have and what they know? Why do I look at the world from this macro, everything is connected viewpoint? Well the answer is simple… I know what it’s like and I know what we as humanity can be.
I know what it’s like for someone to judge you from the moment they meet you because you are quiet and dressed down or confident and dressed up. I know what it’s like for someone to not give you a chance because you don’t sound or look like anyone else. I know what it’s like to go to bed hungry because you don’t even have enough to make a miracle whip sandwich. I know what it’s like to have $1 in your pocket and the fear that if one thing goes wrong, you’ll never be able to get back up. To know what it’s like to get bullied in school and go home crying; to arrive at home looking for sympathy to only find laughter. I know what it’s like to succeed despite the odds. I know what it’s like to work multiple jobs to reach a goal. I know what it’s like to be stubborn enough to work one job to reach your goal so that you don’t get blindsided by other opportunities. I know what it’s like to be in debt, to sleep in your car. I know what it’s like to have the ability to wipe out all your debt with one paycheck.
But in spite of the ups and downs and ups, I find peace and happiness in the moments that defined me and moved me forward in this journey. I may have fallen on my face a lot because I was always facing forward and up, but there’s always something to smile about, starting with the fact I still have all my teeth. 😀
So when I look at the world, I see others who have experienced similar moments and I see the best and brightest alongside with the darkest reflection of humanity and still know that Life is good. I know that humanity is capable of great things and can reach new heights. I believe that it is possible to eliminate this current level of poverty, to have all businesses thrive on doing what’s good and sustainable for people and the planet. The reason I believe is simple – I have lived it and to say we are incapable is to deny what I’ve alone accomplished. It’s to deny what our team is able to accomplish. It’s to deny that anyone else in this world is capable of accomplishing more than where they currently sit. It’s to say they don’t deserve the knowledge or the tools because of their current situation rather than where they aspire or can be. Most importantly, what society can be.
It’s to look forward in this life and say that we can’t do anything more than where we are now. I don’t believe that. I believe we all have the potential to do amazing things and at any moment can be called to do better. I believe that when we each look back at our successes and our failures, we see these bricks being handed to us (sometimes it feels as if it were thrown). We choose to drop these bricks or lay them. And as architect Louis Kahn said, “Even a brick wants to be something.”
There is no other way I would have rather spent my life up until this moment. It is due to this knowledge and wisdom that I have been powered through. It is due to this blessing that I choose to become a brick layer.
To me, the price paid is worth the blessing. There is nothing more gratifying than building something that’s a part of something bigger than yourself. With our team, with our readers and supporters, we are something bigger. We are humanity at work.
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