(If you are reading this, and have survived this year,
even if only by the skin of your teeth,
you are now officially part of the Class of 2020)
As I think about our journey this year, I am reminded of the first three words, of the first paragraph, of the very first self-help / personal-growth book I ever read. The book is titled The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck.
Those three words have stayed with me since I first read them all those many years ago. They are:
“Life is difficult.”
Peck goes on to say:
“This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once when we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that it is difficult no longer matters.”
From this perspective, we let go of the idea that life should be easy. From this perspective we recognize life as a series of problems to be solved, challenges to be met, and doors to walk through. From this perspective, life is an endless series of opportunities to seize the day, rise to the occasion, and to learn and grow.
When we look at our lives from this perspective, we can see that our ability to meet what life offers, is what makes it beautiful, magical and intriguing.
This is not to say that being human isn’t painful. Every person on the planet today has experienced suffering and sadness, and for some of us, this year has brought that to a degree we could not have imagined just twelve short months ago.
Stepping up to meet the challenges life presents, and solve the problems we encounter, takes courage. It takes each us bringing the best of what we have to each moment.
Sometimes our best is brilliance beyond belief. Sometimes our best is simply being able to take the next step, breathe the next breath.
This year we have learned powerful lessons about how to ride the waves without letting them pull us under. But remember each time we get back up after we’ve been knocked down, each time we rise from the ashes, we come back a little tougher, a little stronger, and a little wiser.
Consider for a moment, the butterfly coming out of its cocoon, or the chick working its way out of its shell. If we intervene, and cut open the cocoon, or break apart the shell, the animal will die. As it goes through the process of working its way free, it builds the strength it needs to survive.
And so, despite everything 2020 has dished out, here we all are. And if there is one thing I know about the Human Class of 2020 (the most resilient class ever), it is that we will persevere.
In closing I want to wish you all the best in everything you do.
And I leave you with a challenge:
The challenge is this:
- How will you bring your strength, your resilience, and your ever-expanding wisdom to others?
- How will you pay forward the gifts you have received?
- How will you truly be the change we all wish to see in the world?
Rock on Class of 2020
It has been a pleasure to live this life with you!