We can all think of someone who has influenced our journey called life. Several people in South Africa this past week have been mourning the lost of their greatest leader, Nelson Mandela. In my opinion he will go down as one of the most famous leaders (especially in my lifetime) ranking up there with Harvey Milk and Martin Luther King Jr. as being known as someone who rooted for the people fighting for civil rights, being the voice for the underdog and never giving up on what matters most: this road called life.
Even though the majority of us will never meet someone of that caliber, it doesn’t mean we don’t have a personal individual or group of influential people in our life. For me, one of those people is Chad West. Two years ago I met Chad during a college break when I was in Dallas from Houston. Since I’ve moved back to Dallas we’ve only seen each other twice in two years, but we’ve talked plenty of times. As I see pictures and videos of Mandela, all I can think about is how I would tell the story of the influential people in my life. Chad would definitely be one of those people…
Not only has he been the one in my corner for small aspects of my life, but also the heavy aspects of life that are difficult to endure on my own. Should I pursue law school? What would be the best route? Or do I stay where I am and save money to build for my future? All these are questions post-graduates find them asking in their mind. Majority of them want to get ahead, and not stay stagnant, with where they are when they start that first job out of college.
As for me, it’s been a constant battle because my family is in Dallas, but my heart is definitely else where. With many people knowing the story of my mom, it’s a challenge to pursue that job outside of Dallas. However, with influential people in our life we seek them for their counsel. They are those people who teach us, “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.” – Mandela.
Today, is Chad’s birthday and I can’t help but think about the impact influential people have in our journey of a lifetime decisions. Chad made it possible for me to play in D.C., was a voice when I needed to make a life decision (because that’s often when I turn to him). One of the quotes I believe he would agree with Mandela is: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Now it’s time to get it done, so it will not seem impossible. How will you remember your hero? I know how I will remember mine.