“The world spins, but not around you!” – Jasper Comstock
We view and judge traffic, weather, tragedies and triumphs to the degree that they directly impact our lives. Eventually, though, we wake to realize that although events may leave a significant mark on our lives, they are likely shaping the lives of others, too.
This past weekend all my siblings came together to celebrate our Dad’s 70th birthday.
He is an amazing man. He’s been a great husband for more than 45 years. He’s been an amazing Dad to six kids and now Grandpa to 16! He’s struggled with Parkinson’s disease for more than two decades. Because of it, Dad is unable to work, is unable to walk, is losing the ability to speak, but remains positive in his attitude, certain in faith and absolutely loved by his family and friends.
I told him recently that I admired how positive he has always stayed in the midst of his disease. Dad’s response was that he realizes that life is much less about what happens to him and much more about how he can use his experiences to positively benefit others. My friends, this is a critical realization not only for a guy celebrating 70 years of living, but for each of us as we try to grow, succeed, impact and thrive in our lives.
My life is a perfect example. I spent most of my life thinking the world revolved around me.
I was sure my Mom liked doing my wash, taking me to school, picking me up, driving me to practice, going shopping for me, helping with homework, cooking dinner and putting me to bed. (I realize now it was was done in total selfless love for all six of her kids — and was often far from easy or fun.)
I was the one who got burned as a kid. I was the one who went through the surgeries, got scarred and had to learn to live a new reality. [What I failed to realize was that my brother, who saved my life, got burned, too. My two sisters who were home were scared waking up to an explosion, running out of their burning house, and beholding the surreal image of their badly burned brother. I realize that all my sibling lost their house, their parents for months and a piece of their childhood.]
More recently, I saw that I was the one who got delayed on flights, jet-lagged in travel and came home exhausted. [I now see so clearly that my wife’s travel is significantly harder than mine. Although she may not know the TSA officers by first name, she knows all of the teachers up at school by their first name, manages a very busy house, holds everything together all the time that I’m gone and has every right to be a little tired when I come home.]
I was sure that the world revolved around me. Experiences, my family, my faith and my awesome dad and life have taught me that the world does indeed spin, but just not around me!
Today, my friends, in the midst of your traffic jams, carpool runs, work deadlines and relationship challenges hold onto the truth that life is much less about what happens to you and much more about how you can use your experiences to positively benefit others. [Tweet this.]
What a gift to know that regardless of how the world spins, or what difficulties come into your life, that the best is yet to come.
Thanks for the reminder, Dad.
My friends, help me celebrate Dad’s birthday! Sharing someone who has taught you a valuable lesson, who they were and what the lesson was! Share in the comments below.