Thursday, June 03, 2010

A conversation ... inspiration

This morning I had an incredible conversation with a man who works at The Trash Man in Webster City.  Of all places, right?  I love that I can go nearly anywhere and find something in common with people I encounter.  It's always about the connections we have, right?

I was simply paying for the dumpster that Carol and her friend had filled this last weekend out at the cabin.  He saw on the receipt that I lived in Omaha and since his son has just graduated from Creighton, that gave us an immediate connection.

As we talked about his son, I could sense the pride that he had for this boy.  He is taking his LSAT next Monday but isn't sure that law is really where he wants to spend his life.  Now, what I know about law school is that whether or not you end up practicing law, you walk away with an incredible education that will prepare you for practically anything - honing your skills for public speaking, research, writing and exposing yourself to an incredible amount of information.

His son loves creative writing and has also applied to several graduate schools around the country to get his master's degree in some type of education that will get him to a place where he can teach others about writing.  The boy was a fabulous athlete in high school, played baseball at Creighton his freshman year, but stopped because it took time away from studying - time he didn't want to give up.  His dad was really surprised when he showed this wild creativity and in it a desire to write.

The coolest thing, though was that he's so excited about this for his son.  He doesn't care what the boy does, as long as it fulfills a passion and gives him something to always strive for.  One of the things he continually tells his son is that by going to Creighton and doing really well as an undergraduate he has set the bar high for himself.  No matter what he does next, he should never lower the bar, he should always expect excellence and pursue his dreams in a big way.

He said to me, "He's 21 and has the chance to do anything he wants with his life - I hope he just goes for it.  When I was 21, I had him and I was a cop in a small town.  I've had a good life, but I hope he has an amazing life!"

And I'll tell you what - 21 is a great age to start on an exciting life.  But, I also believe that 31 is a great age ... 41 is a great age and so, for that matter is 51 (which will happen for me the day after I start seminary)!  No matter what age we are, we can do exciting things and start exciting lives.  If you're already doing everything you want to do and open your eyes in the morning ready and excited to face the day - yea!

Oh ... and sleeping in and doing nothing for the rest of your life doesn't count as a big dream.  It might be a great dream for a couple of days (maybe a couple of weeks) but pretty soon you're going to want to be more than a slug, I promise!

The moral of the story?  Well ... I suppose there always is one.  The first thing that occurs to me is that I had one more fabulous encounter with someone in Iowa - I love meeting new people and talking to them.  But, the second thing is that I was reminded again why I'm doing what I'm doing ... I love the fact that I won't settle for a life lived quietly.  The bar has been raised and I don't intend to lower it in my life ... ever again!

1 comment:

Mark Madere said...

I not only had lunch with one of my heroes, but breakfast and dinner as well over the past five days.

Max was a wonderful travelling and photography partner in San Francisco. It was nice to re-connect with him since our college days at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. His insights into photography and the world in general always open my eyes to new possibilities.

Diane, it was a pleasure and an honor to be inspired by your husband this past week.

Blessings to you both.

Mark Madere
SpectraLight Photography