Monday, February 8, 2010

3 People

I am a fan of 'feel good' stories. There is nothing I enjoy more than the triumph of the human spirit. Stories of Redemption are to me: Religion.

There are those who believe tear jerking moments of divine inspiration to be cheesy. I doubt these folks have ever been champions. When you know what it means to redefine yourself by evolving your purpose, you know the anguish of success and the all more important grace of achieving the impossible.

So this weekend I met 3 people:

In a modern day version of 'Into The Wild', Rob Machado throws his cell phone in a ditch, grabs a motorbike and travels undiscovered Indonesia. In solitude, Rob searches for perfect surf and a secret spot to share it with God (or whoever). He remarks that in these moments detached from society he feels completely alone and yet totally in sync with the world. Paddling the ocean alone between islands Rob loses his physical capabilities and realizes that he could sink to the bottom of the sea without being found...a discovery of the insignificance of each of us. At which point, he decides that if it all means nothing why not live life to the fullest.

Dr. Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism and condemned in a time when solutions for this 'mental illness' were lobotomy or institutionalization. With a spirit like Rob Machado's, her mother decided that if her daughter was to be dammed she would allow her to live life without apology. Temple ultimate went on to achieve accolades as a cattle engineer, journalist and activist for autism; but her true elegance lies in her acute understanding of the boundless condition of her disease. Instead of allowing her differences to defeat her, she used them as a tool to evolve her thought transmission far beyond controlled thinking. Her ability to articulate her passion for life by living without fear makes her a visionary. "I don't want to die with my thoughts" - a mission of courage from Temple Grandin.

Yesterday's Super Bowl was about more than football. The state of Louisiana, ignored and torn-us-under by Hurricane Katrina still lies in rubble. Many 'residents' are still homeless, many have lost family members and political apologies for American negligence have been sparse. So on Sundays their team began to rebuild a city in the dome that once served as a refugee camp. The nature of human triumph becoming the only thing a city had to hang on to. With each touchdown a sense of achievement, with each kick another reason to keep fighting, with every tackle a little less anger. On February 7th the New Orleans Saints won the World's Championship, finally telling the city it was OK to move on. Demons put to rest, achievements to prove their worth and a little more energy to keep fighting. When Tracy Porter intercepted League MVP Peyton Manning's pass and ran 70 yards in the other direction he ascended into heaven for but a brief moment.

My cheeks were not dry this weekend. Rob, Temple and Tracy helped me remember how precious these moments in time can be. Where did we lose our faith in the glory of humanity? Why do we let the mundane side track us? How could we ever give up faith seeing the achievements of these people?

If all is lost, we have nowhere to go but up, why not charge without condition in determined pursuit of glory.

Don't Forget to Remember!

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