Monday, December 22, 2008

Don't be just a passerby this next year

The purposeful slow Sunday morning jogs allow me to think. Yesterday morning, I started out like normal, but did not feel very motivated so I stopped after two miles and started walking. While I walked, I thought of more solutions, ideas, and future conversations.

On this very familiar path, I also noticed things that I not seen before. In particular, there was a bird's nest in a tree next to the sidewalk on Samford Avenue at the top of the hill. I haven't seen it before. Usually at this point of my jog, I start mentally congratulating myself because I did not let the hill defeat me. I am usually so "full" of my accomplishment of topping the hill that I do not notice this bird's nest sitting on a branch, just a few inches from the sidewalk where I jog.

The nest reminds me that I don't want to be so busy running to the next thing that I miss opportunities right in front of me. It also reminds me that focusing on my own accomplishments--large or small--keeps me from seeing and hearing others.

Scott Fillmer in his post, Lack of Dead Poets Society Copy, asked the question "Why don't we challenge each other more?"

Why don't we, more often, challenge ourselves and others to see life and opportunities from different perspectives?

One of my favorite questions is: What is it that we need to know that we don't already know?

Learning new things means being open to learning, seeing different perspectives, trying things we've never tried before, talking with people we disagree with, possibly slowing down, and focusing on others' goals, needs, and wants--instead of our own.

As Brian Johnson says "the last thing I want to be is just a passerby.”

Like Brian, I don't want to miss my opportunity to see, hear, listen, learn, be more creative with my talents, and possibly, influence others in positive ways.

Why don't we challenge each other more?