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Posts Tagged ‘Optimisim’

army4The endless line of men drilled tirelessly. Clad in their green uniforms they marched in single file, resembling a caterpillar inching its way along the training grounds. They were preparing for war. Hundreds of thousands of them called into service to fight the enemy that had threatened our freedom at Pearl Harbor.

It did not take long before the drill sergeant barked out his all too common complaint. “Largman. Stop bouncing!” That command was directed at my Dad of course, not me. It seemed that my Dad had this bounce in his step, causing his head to pop up unevenly above the other men. For the most part, the sergeant was just looking out for my Dad, not wanting him to get his head blown off once they were in enemy territory due to his lack of conformity with the rest of the platoon.

Thankfully, my Dad survived 3 years in the army, his bounce still intact upon his return to America’s shores.

I love that story and the beautiful metaphor of life it represents for my Dad.

Over the years my Dad has endured a lot. Stock market crashes, numerous wars, putting 4 kids through college, surviving a fire in his home, watching his wife die of breast cancer, surviving cancer himself. Yet through it all, that bounce remained. The travails of life did not stop him from quenching his never-ending thirst for education, eventually getting a PhD in chemistry. Nor did it stop his drive to succeed, earning over 35 patents during his career. And even after the love of his life left him, and he wondered how he might continue, he somehow managed to recreate himself and become a successful artist producing amazing, thought-provoking works of art. (See them here: http://www.teleazer.com)

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure if that bounce in my Dad’s step is the result of a bad hip, one leg being shorter than the other, or some other physical condition. Personally, I like to think that the bounce is a result of what is in his heart and spirit, for as far as I can tell, that is the conclusion his amazing life seems to support the most. Whatever the cause, I can only hope that for as long as he is alive, that bounce never leaves him.

What challenge(s) have you overcome to meet with success and inspire those around you? 

(Photo courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society)

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