Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lesson 11: Be bold.

Author's note: I am a compulsive advice-giver-always have been.  When my own son was in high school, he wasn't interested in his old man's advice so I wrote it down in the hope that he might change his mind one day.  What follows is one piece of that advice.  I trust it applies to all of us, regardless of age.

Freedom lies in being bold.
—Robert Frost

When my sister Nancy was about thirteen, our mother took her on a trip to Washington, DC to see the monuments and visit the museums. One museum housed a temporary exhibit of rocks that had been collected by astronauts during a NASA moon mission. Nancy and Mom saved this exhibit for the last day of their trip.
When they arrived at the exhibit hall, they were met with a sign that read “Moon Rock Exhibit Temporarily Closed.” My sister was deeply disappointed; this was to have been the highlight of the trip. But my mother was not to be denied. She made it clear that she had come to see the moon rocks, and she was going in, regardless of the sign.
“Mom!” Nancy protested. “Can’t you read? You’ll get in trouble; you might get arrested!” It made no difference. Mom strolled past the sign and into the deserted hall. A few minutes later, Nancy was horrified to see her mother being escorted out by a burly security guard who politely but firmly reminded the little lady that the exhibit was closed.
“See?” Nancy said. “I told you you’d get in trouble!”
“Well,” Mom replied with a quiet smile. “I saw the moon rocks.”
Get the point? My mom was bold, and she was successful in her quest. My sister held back, and she didn’t get to see the moon rocks.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I should have done so-and-so?” Boldness will keep you from ever having to say that.
You can express boldness in every aspect of your life, whether it be big or small. If you want to do something—as long as it’s legal and worthwhile—do it. If you want a different job or a graduate degree, make up your mind to go for it. If you’re in a karaoke club and want to sing, then sing! If you care about someone, don’t be afraid to express how you feel.
Live the life that you want to live. Don’t be held back by some notion that you aren’t good enough, or that you might fail or be embarrassed. Don’t let fear keep you from doing what you want to do.
Be bold, my friend, and you will never have to live with regret.

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