Friday, August 6, 2010

Inspiration & Change

Last Saturday night, we attended a simulcast of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Shining Light celebration that capped off the 2010 National Jamboree and celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Scouting in the US. It was a big pep rally kind of show with lots of singing and dancing, speeches of all kinds, and of course, fireworks.

I expected the hoopla, but I never expected to be so proud to have my whole family involved in Scouting (we have a Boy Scout, a Cub Scout, a Cub Master and a Den Leader in our house!), and I never expected to be so inspired to pick myself up and continue giving it my all (I was pretty burned out on Scouts by the end of this last school year). I was inspired by, of all things, a rock band I had never heard of before, called Switchfoot, that performed for the boys.

Between songs, the lead singer talked to the crowd and one thing he said rang out to me loud and clear. He said, "Never believe that you can not change", and he repeated those simple and profound seven words several times. They then performed a song called "Dare You to Move". Those 2 phrases - never believe you can not change and dare you to move - have been percolating around in my brain ever since.

The next day I researched Switchfoot on the Internet and found that they began as a Christian Rock band and have always been very involved in fundraisers and charities of all kinds. Well what do you know, I may need to buy a CD or two from them. Anyway, my point is not to promote a band (although you may want to check them out on YouTube), but to have you consider the possibility of change in your own life...and perhaps to dare you to move, too.

The Cub Scout motto is "Do your best". Behavior and actions are a fine place to start when we're teaching our young children, but as adults, I think "Be your best" has more meaning. Are you the best that you can be? Have you ever stopped to think about who you could be? How big a gap is there between who you are right now and who you have the potential to become? What would it take to get you from here to there? What's holding you back from beginning the journey? Perhaps you've just never thought about it before. Perhaps you don't know where to start. Perhaps old habits and actions get in the way and cause you to turn away from a better path. Perhaps you need to believe in yourself and your support system a little more. Remember: never believe that you can not change.

We can ask all the same questions about your life, too. How is your life right now? How much better could your life be? How vast is the gulf between how your life is right now and what it has the potential to become? What would it take to get you from here to there? Why have you not begun making changes to move you in a more positive direction? Are you cocooned within yourself or are you giving back and sharing your greatness with your community, your family, and your friends? Never believe that you can not change.

My Mom used to say, "Where there is life, there is hope". I agree, and I would add "Where there is life, there is hope for positive change". All we need is a little quiet time to realize that there are better ways to go about this thing called life. Then we need to decide to change and commit ourselves to the process. Then we need to begin to move - and these can be baby steps at first, until we gain some courage and momentum. Along the way we need to allow ourselves to slide back now and then without guilt or shame - we are human, after all, and we are never perfect, but this can not be an excuse to give up or abandon all hope. Persistence must be our friend. Celebrate every little positive step, reward yourself, and keep on going. Learn from your mistakes and keep on going. Share the story of your journey with your closest supporters and keep on going. Celebrate your friends' progress and keep on going. Encourage each other, encourage yourself, and keep on going. Little by little, action by action, thought by thought, day by day, just keep on going.

Before you know it, before you even realize how far you've come, you will be there. You will be the better person you envisioned for yourself. You will be living a life that is closer to your potential. Never believe you can not change.

So now I dare you. I dare you to sit quietly for a while and ponder what could be. I dare you to reach for that goal - to be that better person - to attain that better life - to make a difference for yourself and for others, both near and far. I dare you to move...and to keep on moving...and to inspire others to do the same.

Never believe you can not change. I dare you to move.

Many thanks to Switchfoot for the great inspiration.

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