“Remember when you see a man at the top of a mountain, he didn’t fall there.” This is an anonymous quote. Anonymous quotes can be beautiful. Good ones inspire as do good people.
As a reporter, I have met few people who, when you take the time to get to know them, are not interesting. I have heard incredible stories of heroism, courage, adventure and inspiration right here in Princeton and it reminds me that a person should never judge a book by their cover. I have met very good looking people who are just awful and quiet unassuming people who are absolutely wonderful.
Many years ago, when my nephew was attacked by a cougar, I got an incredible glimpse at humanity. People wrote touching letters. Students sent cards, hugs and smiles. The letters were healing. You could feel the goodness in them, but mixed in among the goodness was some darkness. One woman said on national television, “Parents need to expect something like this might happen when you live in a rural community.” I don’t think anyone expects random life-threatening attacks of any kind on their child.
My kids and I watched Soul Surfer recently about the champion surfer in Hawaii who was attacked by a shark. It was an inspiring story. People go through these moments in life where their decisions emanate hope or despair. One life is full of satisfying moments and the other is not. How can one feel greatness and beauty when they don’t aspire to see it?
Anonymity can be bring incredible gifts. Ordinary people can be extraordinary. Adversity can bring greatness or disdain. The life we live is one of choices.
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo DaVinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” Everyone of those people had dreams, big dreams. They followed their dreams to big places. This what I want to live by and what I dream my kids will live by. Did we make a difference?
We all can’t invent or paint or lead in the same way, but everyone of us has the capacity to be selfless. Not all of us are able to make monumental differences to the world, but we can all make some. If I have to go through life tearing others dreams apart and finding fault rather than solutions, I am a coward. “To realize a dream, you must have a dream to realize.” Anonymity can be a beautiful quote or a place to hide and destroy. I am just an ordinary person who dreams. Maybe I can inspire a dream or boost one to continue. Anonymity can be beautiful or ugly. Bravery is a decision made by those led from their heart.