I believe you when you tell me everything happens for a reason. I believe when you tell me everything has meaning however, not everything that means something will have to mean everything.
I agree when people say, “You made your bed, now sleep in it.”
I also agree when people say “You slept in your bed, now make it.”
We all have a hand in what happens to this world. We are all part of this crazy machine called life. You and me and everyone else we know; we are all part of the windings that turn the clocks of time. Some are productive pieces and others are counterproductive. This is just a simple fact.
I have watched people spend their entire lifetime pouring their efforts into things beyond their control. I have seen people give up and quit. I have been through programs and sat in jail cells and inside mental health facilities with people that simply cannot and will not get out of their own way.
I have watched some of the best people in the world sink down and fall from grace because of the way they’ve addressed their so-called failures. And, adversely, I have seen people down and out. I have watched people resolve themselves from homeless shelter to housing and from jobless to entrepreneurial. Is this luck?
There was a video from years back about a young man that was tricked into giving his friend a ride to a rough part of the city. His friend kept assuring there was no danger and although the young man was hesitant, eventually, he gave in.
They drove up to a house and no sooner did the young man get out of the car, he was hit with a shotgun blast to right his arm. He was then shot in the chest. His car was stolen. And then while on the ground, the young man felt the steel from the barrel of the shotgun pressed against the top of his head. According to the young man, he swatted the shotgun away from the top of his head but the blast took off a part of his scalp. He was left for dead.
At the age of 17, the young man discussed the thoughts he was having in the video. He knew there were two choices. He could lay there and die or at least try to do something. Each time he closed his eyes, the young man recognized the pain stopped. At the same time, each time he closed his eyes, the young man knew this meant he was dying.
He tried to get up. He tried to walk. He tried to keep his eyes open and not pass out.
By miracle, the young man moved closer to the road where someone saw the young man and found him. An ambulance was on the way. He had a hole in his chest the size of a tea cup. His arm was mangled and the top of his head we nearly blown off.
Had it not been for this young man’s will to survive, he would most certainly be dead.
There are times in life when we are faced with those “Dare to be” situations in our life. There are times when we are challenged and tasked. And there are times when we are beaten or feel weak.
There is not so much difference between us and the young man. Our bodies are not made to withstand shotgun blasts.
With all that he had left, this young man decided that he was going to try. He decided that he was not going to lay down and simply die just because some punk kid chose him as a random person to shoot and kill to be initiated into a gang.
The question is this; how many times have we taken insults so personally that we internalized them and allowed them to assassinate the spirit of our character?
How many times have we been hurt or betrayed or let down to the point where it seems that we couldn’t even get out of bed?
Figuratively speaking, how many times have we gave in or in other words, how many times have we laid down and died?
I think of the young man that was shot three times. I think about me if I were in his situation. What would I do? Would I have given up? Would I have let my eyes close and die? Or, would I have done the same thing as him? Would I have tried with everything I had and reach the road so that I could at least be seen and rescued?
I’ve watched this video many times.
I think about when people tell me there is a reason behind everything and then I think about the young man.
I think about the reason for the young man’s survival. And then I come to the understanding that the reason for his survival is because of him.
Someone told me the other day that I am both privileged and lucky. Maybe this is true. I am lucky. I am privileged. I also wake up before the sun every morning. I focus on my goals. I work hard.
If I am not building my business then I am building my resume. If I am not working then I am learning and if I am not learning (which is always) then I must be sleeping (which is rarely) because we are always learning in one way or another. We are always moving. There is no such thing as being still or stuck. This is only an illusion.
In fairness, I do not know what kind of man I would be (or could be) if I were hit three times with a shotgun blast. I don’t know if pain like this would stop me or if I would have what it took to try and move myself to a place where I could be noticed.
I know this; however, if I am to be anything or do anything, then I am the direct link in this equation. I am the one that makes my bed. I am the one that sleeps in it. I am the reason I live or die and I am the link to my personal survival.
An old friend from the neighborhood once told me he hated me. He told me he was furious with me because I moved away from a lifestyle that eventually killed him. He said I was lucky.
In this case, I disagree. Same as luck did not save that young man, luck did not change my life. Of course, certain things had to work in my favor but I had to do the work to maintain my course.
No one ever did the work for me. And sure, the young man was lucky his head was not blown clear off but had it not been for his drive, desire, and will to survive; he would have been dead.
And me, I don’t want to be dead either. I don’t want to just wallow or sit in myself and let the world turn around me. I want to live. And this is the difference between people. Some look to survive and others simply give in.
The only question is:
Which person do you want to be today?