When I was a child I was afraid of so many things. I was afraid of the dark, of strangers, of talking to other children. I had a vivid imagination and spent most of my time daydreaming. As a teenager I had a small group of good friends. I was still afraid of strangers, afraid of standing out in a crowd and terrified of talking to boys! I spent most of my time studying and babysitting and reading.
I was raised knowing it was my responsibility to give back to this world and make some kind of positive impact. I don’t remember my parents talking about duty, responsibility or service but it was something I knew I needed to do. They also raised their children to believe in their hearts that there was nothing they could not accomplish.
In college I studied psycho-biology. I was made aware that fear is just a chemical reaction. I made a conscious decision to not allow fear to cripple my ability to live my life. So when I am asked if I am nervous or afraid about donating my kidney to Gavin the answer is no. I am sure I will have some panic moments along the way, but I feel a total sense of peace and “rightness” about this decision.
After law school my focus was on getting a high paying job as an attorney. I was not concerned with “giving back” or public service. I figured that after I had achieved my material goals I would have time for all that!
At this time I was also teaching horseback riding lessons. I had a student who’s father was a top business man in his field. He worked very hard and was very successful. They had a beautiful home and fancy cars. Their children were dressed in the latest fashion. They were happy but the father had little time to enjoy the things in life he wanted. For fun he liked to go to the local livestock auction and hang out with some of the farmers. He would take the time to do this once a month and often talked about having a small farm some day when he retired.
One night, driving down a winding rural road after visiting with his farmer friends this man hit a deer. He was thrown from his car and found in a ditch of water. They did not know if he would survive. In an instant his life had changed.
It struck me that life could change in an instant. That goals that are deferred for some day in the future may never be achieved. Along the way in my life I have made decisions and followed paths that have made sense to me. Sometimes out of pure enjoyment and sometimes to attempt to do something to make the world just a little bit better.