Lessons from Kendra Harrison’s ‘Failure’

Life is my greatest teacher and I love to observe and learn from the lives of others.  Whilst watching the Olympic Anniversary Games last weekend, I attended life school when Kendra Harrison broke a 28-year-old world record 100m hurdles. More interesting to me was discovering that she did not qualify for the Olympics even though she was the fastest woman in the world.

This spoke volumes to me on so many levels that I’m not sure where to start. I guess the initial encouragement is that the ‘race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong……… but time and chance happens to them all’. If the world’s fastest woman could not make the Olympics, then I think we all need to take is easy on ourselves sometimes. Even with the best intentions, will, preparation and knowledge we may not get it right when we want. We may not nail that job interview or win that business or pass that exam or make that relationship work – even with the best intentions. It’s a sobering thought but also an encouragement to simply go ahead and do our best and that should always be enough.

I also love the fighting spirit in her – the epitome of the comeback kid.  What an amazing way to stick it to the world after fate conspired to cheat her out of her Olympic dream. To bounce back from that and come to the Games and smash a world record is phenomenal. No one can dispute that she is a champion which just goes to show you that the world doesn’t always measure true success accurately. We can’t really call her a failure can we?

And lastly, this is also an encouragement for the rest of us who don’t always measure up or feel good enough. If we are prepared and diligent, our Olympic moment will come because the race isn’t always to the swift. However, the reality is that Kendra was the one to beat; the one that would have had others feeling threatened during the trials. Whilst no one might have predicted she wouldn’t make it through, only the ones who were prepared were able to take advantage of that oppotunity.

Have a great week everyone.

 

 

Who is My Neighbour

Yesterday at church, I heard sermon on the Good Samaritan.

For those who don’t know, the Good Samaritan is a proverb told by Jesus Christ to a know- it-all teacher of the law who asks Jesus a couple of questions, the latter being, “who is my neighbour?” To which Jesus replied:

 “There was once a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when robbers attacked him, stripped him, and beat him up, leaving him half dead. It so happened that a priest was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he walked on by on the other side.  In the same way a Levite also came there, went over and looked at the man, and then walked on by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was travelling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity. He went over to him, poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them; then he put the man on his own animal and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he told the innkeeper, ‘and when I come back this way, I will pay you whatever else you spend on him.’”

And Jesus concluded, “In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbour toward the man attacked by the robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who was kind to him.”  Jesus replied, “You go, then, and do the same.”

We are living in extremely troubling times in which leadership and humanity is failing us in a dire way.  I don’t know about you but I’m confused, angry, bewildered but most of all at a loss. At a loss for what the practical solution is to the mess the world is in. I’ve been grappling with this feeling for a while but most especially this weekend after the spate of killings in America.

With a thought ladened mind, I heard the preacher say, “there is no point to religious practices if it supersedes mercy or kindness”.

There are many of us who profess to be people of faith. This passage was written for the benefit of followers of Christ but I believe that there is a lesson for us all to learn. Now is the time, more than ever for us to rise up and show kindness to the suffering people of this world. We can’t sit by idly watching so much pain take place in the world. Sadly the one thing we do not have is a lack of issues to solve. Hunger, homelessness, racism, inequality, discrimination of all sorts, poverty, cancer, alzheimers, child brides, war crimes, rape, domestic violence, sexism, education, water sanitation, malaria, misogyny – where do I stop? There isn’t a shortage of problems. What we have is a shortage of people doing the right thing.

So here are 10 practical things we can all do.

  1. Be kind to others.
  2. Listen to one another, even when your view points are different.
  3. Write to your MP about it.
  4. Stand up for those who don’t have a voice.
  5. Give financially to a cause that helps to alleviate pain in this world.
  6. Volunteer your time to one of these causes. You can’t do it all, but you can do something.
  7. Educate yourself on the ills going on in this world.
  8. Explore if you have a direct solution to a problem.
  9. Sign up to https://www.change.org  and be a part change taking place around the world.
  10. Be present in this generation. Don’t sit down and do nothing.

 

Born on the Fourth of July

Today is my birthday and I thought it was only right for me to educate you on how important my birthday is.

Firstly, I have a movie inspired by my birthday. Yep! I’m that special. You may have heard of it. Born on the 4th of July with a little actor (no pun intended) known as Tom Cruise. Yep. My birthday is special.

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Then of course the world’s largest economy only gained it’s independence on MY birthday. The United States of America and I are birthday mates. Unlike America though, no one occupied my body before my birth.

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Bill Withers, Elie Saab, Gina Lollobrigida, Louis B Meyer (MGM) and Neil Morrissey (Bob the Builder) were all born on the 4th of July.  You don’t get any more famous than Bob the Builder. Come on!

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So Happy Birthday to very very VERY important me!

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