I Hope You Dance

“The greatest risk in life is taking the chance on life.”

“Let us praise famous men and our fathers that begat us. All these men were honoured in their generations and were a glory in their days. We are here today to give thanks for the life of Harold Abrahams. To honour the legend. Now there are just two of us – young Aubrey Montague and myself – who can close our eyes and remember those few young men with hope in our hearts and wings on our heels.”

Lord Andrew Lindsay – Chariots of Fire

Yesterday afternoon, Derek Jeter, right off the disabled list, danced his way into the history books acting out a script that could have been written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by James Cameron. It was a poetic journey as the Captain of the New York Yankees became the first player in pinstripes to strike 3000 hits in his career as he launched a home run decisively into the outfield bleachers. As 54,000 fans and millions of viewers stood to honor the man and the achievement for over five minutes, it was clear that this was not an isolated moment in sports history. This was a moment, drafted in the stars and played out as fairy dust fell from the heavens. Derek would go five for five including the game winning hit on this day, but as he hugged each one of his teammates and remembered those that were not there with him, he embraced a moment that will forever be in his and our hearts.

Derek danced.

Life is dictated by responsibility. Responsibility for the financial well-being of ourselves and our families. Responsibility for defining the morals that we bestow. Responsibility leading a life that our parents had set for us. Out of respect and admiration for our upbringing, many feel the need to “pay back” our parents with a life of moral solitude.

Yet, are we risk adverse because of the fear of harm or the perception that if we step into the unknown we become vulnerable and thus open the door for predators to take advantage of our weakness.

The human mind is a challenging foe whose very existence is our greatest challenge. It numbs the senses and imparts the lessons of routine, comfort, stability and patience.

If you collect all of these thoughts, they are nothing more than barriers to the Dance.

We are a civilization that for millions of years has thrived on innovation. The ability to create what does not exist has set the standards for everything from fire to space travel.

The most memorable successes occur when our backs are against the wall, the resources are limited and your only support is the will to know you can accomplish anything.

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be” – George Sheehan

You are the will, compassion, fortitude, and strength to release the greatness within you. We are raised to dream; to reach for the stars and accomplish anything. Life shouldn’t interfere with the innocent notions you had as a child. If anything, life should strengthen the desire to want to meet and exceed those goals. All of us, whether wealthy or poor, receive an invitation to the dance. Some go, some don’t, some stand in the corner while the very few who know that it is an honor to stand alone on the center of that dance floor and shine will become greater than even their own imagination could visualize.

To be free to spin, jump and twirl and see things in this world that only you can see; what a thought. It is that perception that will carry over into the next generation and history will remember you, the shy boy or girl that dared to step on that shiny floor and let your soul be naked for all to see.

It is time to dance.

Reach into the pockets of that dress or suit and find that list you created that has you reaching into the unknown and let it out. Don’t give up, don’t let go…Just make the unthinkable happen and enjoy the ride.

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