Storm Chaser

I really don’t openly discuss my hobbies.  They are my own and they speak more about me than I ever could myself.  But, since this time of year is really one of my favorites not because of my birthday or that it is summer.  Rather, it is the time of year that severe weather season is full bloom.  I love the weather.  I love watching it.  I love being in it.  I love watching Mother Nature do her thing.

This particular thing though… much of the people I know are scared to go out and chase storms.  I can understand and respect the unpredictable and unstable nature of severe weather and how it affects people.  Not everyone can either appreciate or even thrive in unstable conditions.  Much less conditions that threaten their livelihood.  While people in their right mind are wise to keep their distance from these types of things, I find a certain appeal in being threatened.  There’s a certain excitement in knowing that the world around you can be challenging.  Not just in the way that makes you think of escaping danger or unnecessary risk; but, in giving you the opportunity to take the risk knowing that whatever lies ahead may be dangerous and that it can damage or perhaps even kill.  The excitement lies in the chase.

But, the dread lies in confrontation.

The way we approach life, at least I believe, can open a lot more doors for all of us if we approach it in much the same manner.  Don’t get me wrong, though.  I would like to think that I’m not fool enough to subject myself to turbulence and instability at every instance I could.  After all, storm chasing is a hobby.  There is a season in which where I can do this consistently or within a reasonable frame.  However, you never know when you’re going to find yourself in a situation that mandates a response to the climate.

I don’t necessarily like being in turbulent conditions; but, I can honestly say that there is an unimaginable amount of gain to be had when you’re “under the gun” so to speak.

Nobody said life was safe and that progress was made by the actions of a conservative body.  The common theme of progress is risk, it feels like.  Just how far one is willing to go… Just what one is willing to give up for the sake of something else…

“Risk is part of the game if you want to sit in that chair.” -William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk “Star Trek: Generations”

 

I’m big enough to admit that I’ve weathered storms that I had no business being part of.  I’ve sat out storms I’ve wanted nothing to do with and I’ve born witness to the proverbial “perfect setup.”  But, I’m also big enough to admit that in the midst of all these instances, I have felt anything but excitement.  I’ve felt dread and I’ve felt fear.  I’ve been afraid.  But, that’s okay.  Right?  There’s nothing wrong with respecting dynamics beyond your control.  There’s nothing wrong with picking your battles, right?

Perhaps.  Perhaps not.

For every moment that you find yourself rooted in fear, angst, and doubt… there is a moment you can find yourself in a moment like this…

maxresdefaultShot May 27, 2013 by Brandon Ivey in TIV 2(Tornado Intercept Vehicle)

This picture was taken inside (YES INSIDE) the parent circulation of a strong EF-3 (Enhanced Fujita-Scale) or a weak EF-4 tornado.  Meaning, the team inside of this vehicle dared to drive into the funnel of a tornado.  Sounds ridiculous, right?  Perhaps even ludicrous or insane.  But, they weren’t going to get what they wanted from this storm being a safe distance away from it.

 

There has to be some point when we make the decision to not shy away from things because they aren’t safe.  Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time doesn’t mean that conditions are conducive to safety, security, or even certainty.

I happen to know for an absolute fact that being in the right place at the right time is shrouded with instability and the potential to damage or even destroy all that we’ve constructed at any given point.  For that reason, being anywhere but there has a certain appeal.  Who wants to be at Ground Zero for anything?  Who wants to see something get torn apart?

When, I feel the more appropriate and driving question is, “Who wants to see what you’re made of?”

 

Interesting thought, isn’t it?  Getting to see what you’re made of… seeing how you stand up to stress, antagonism, rage, fury, and any other element that can wear you down so a point where there’s nothing left.  Nobody wants to see how you stand up to things because nobody wants to see how you break.  But, the risk of breaking is necessary because how else will you know how you’ll endure?  For you to endure, you have to be tested.  The climate in which you stand can’t be consistent otherwise how you’re built will reflect consistency.  If you’re built for prosperity, how you’ll respond to adversity will overwhelm your inherent skills and talents.  If you’re built for adversity, you may not know how to embrace prosperity.  Or, who knows how you’ll respond to any given situation until you’re faced with it.

But, you’ll never know until you take the risk… embrace the challenge… find yourself face to face with what scares you the most.

Who knows… maybe that’s what chasing storms is all about.

 

Then again, maybe it’s the thrill of peril… or the opportunity to honker down, ride it out, and enjoy the show.

-Kevin

In honor of Matt Hughes (2010); Tim & Paul Samaras, Carl Young, and Richard Henderson (2013) and all those who have their own tornadoes to chase.

 

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Twenty Minutes

When I woke up today, the last thing I honestly wanted to do was reflect on points in my life that had come and gone.  However, I was reminded by an awesome colleague and even better friend of this:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

 

It really resonated with me because of something my driving instructor at Exotics Racing in Las Vegas said to me.  He said that he wouldn’t have been telling me I was doing good things if I hadn’t been.  For a long time, people telling me I had been doing things well just to be nice.  Brandon, my instructor, also said that he had been around way too long to tell people constructive things for the sake of being constructive.  Looking back at it all now, it really makes me wonder just when I had been doing good things or just being told I was doing good things.  However, that is something for another day.

 

What I really wanted to get off my chest is that we seem to only really encourage or impart words of affirmation only when we’re on the journey.  We feel that the need to encourage one another only has punch when we’re about to do something important, risky, or unknown to us.  I can agree that those three instances can be critical when it comes to being encouraging.  However, it is disheartening to see it practically in only those three instances.

“For the most part, we have to work on small things right now.  So, if we’re having to work on small things after six laps, that’s pretty good.  It’s a car you don’t know.  It’s a track you don’t know.  It’s a driving style you don’t know.  After six laps of doing pretty good… getting to where you’re working on small things, I think that’s pretty good, right?” -Brandon, my instructor

Halfway into the experience and to have this spoken to me by an experienced driver was… for lack of a better way to put it, encouraging!  Here I am… no competitive racing skills or experience under my belt and just there for the sake of getting to drive a $120,000 sports car… to be told, by an experienced driver, that is what I would need to work on to progress?  That’s what we all want!  We want to be naturally in a position to have to make subtle adjustments instead of these whopping, life changing ones.  All too often, we take those whopping ones for granted because we don’t necessarily appreciate the journey we took to get there.

As I’ve gotten a little older since then, I’ve learned to really enjoy not abiding in being stationary.  Just because I haven’t left Canyon, USA doesn’t mean that I’m stationary.  There’s always a place to go or a thing to do wherever you are.  Lately, I’ve been exploring my faith and what it means to me.  I’ve been exploring my talent for composition and creativity.  I’ve been lots of places that a car could never take me.  But, for those twenty minutes in that Nissan GT-R, I found that a car could take me places that I wouldn’t have ever considered otherwise: a place that showed that encouragement is a journey all its own and not merely just a stop along whatever path you happen yourself to be.

 

So, as I find myself sitting here reminiscing about the things I have experienced and the things yet to come, I am encouraged.  Because at some point, somewhere down the line, there either has been or will be a Brandon telling me that regardless of what point I exist in, I have done good things and those little things will resolve themselves with understanding and application.  It’s kind of a shame that at first, I didn’t believe him.

 

Now, I do.  Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction serves you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.

I can still hear “Turn now!  Brake now!  Push through the apex!  Go, go, go!!!!” in my head.  A lot better now because I can appreciate what it means to be encouraged through proper guidance.  Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction continues to serve you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.

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-Kevin

P.S:  Thanks, JP!  As one racing fan to another, “Boogity!  Boogity!  Boogity!”

 

“Bruce Wayne?”

It’s amazing just how much you can learn about yourself.

 

Whether it’s being at home or abroad… there’s always something new that your environment can educate you to about just who we really are.  I’m not necessarily talking about personality traits or instances when we defy our own norms but revelations that can create irreconcilable differences between the person we are as we exist now and the person we are meant to be, can be, we once were, or whatever else we can think of that allows us to give definition to existential differences.

 

But, one thing I’ve learned “studying abroad” was that we, as human beings, are never going to be unified in that sense.  There are just too many crises that we face that create moments that we are forced to agree or disagree with our contrasting identities.  Now, don’t confuse this with multiple personalities or anything that may imply mental illness.  We are all crazy in our own way.  Very few of us are by definition “sane.”  Hell, I don’t think any of us are.  We go at it with ourselves so much that I don’t think it’s possible to look at ourselves and not make the accusation.  However, the inevitable inclusion of those around us and consequently those we care for makes us wonder.

 

I’ve come to hold true that whatever our journey is for, the space between where we are now and the destination is a battleground.  Whether we question the dignity a beard may add (as men) or does wearing lingerie inhibit a woman’s ability to be modest (if you’re a woman)… or extending beyond the superficial and asking questions that challenge the very nature of your own being… whatever the road you travel, the lengths you’ll go to find resolution will create plenty of opportunity to see just how divisible we really are.

 

The doubt and insecurities that being in a transitional phase bring can be crippling to the personal going through it.  However, there will always be those who take sides.  There are those who feed the necessity and value of either one of those identities and the conflict between those aspects deny the idea of being a unified entity.  However, there’s always more going on than meets the eye and that element gives us hope.

 

The apparent schism plays an important role in our overall growth.  The split doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with us.  It just means that we have an internal conflict of interest and those aren’t always bad things either.  There are things we may want to accomplish that aren’t always conducive to our personality construct as it stands.  Conversely, there are things that we have already done that compromise our future.  It’s a part of the growing pains we go through.  It’s a fact of life.  We will be at odds with ourselves.  We are what we are.

 

In the midst of all of that confusion, there will be a time that someone will ask who we just happen to be… perhaps the hardest hitting question we can ever ask ourselves would be, “Do we really want to know who is responsible for saving our own ass?”  Sure, I think we would all like to know.  But, is it honestly necessary?  As a Christian, we acknowledge that God can move in mysterious ways and we can’t always put our finger on where and when things were set in motion.  But, we can feel comfortable attributing that to Him.

 

Sure, I can go with that.  Faith is important and it shows.  Nothing wrong with having it and putting it to use.

 

However, there are critical moments… and we may not know who is who… that will have everything hanging in the balance… and we won’t know who is really doing what is necessary to achieve the goal.  I’ve had more than enough of those instances in life… and even some now… and I’ve been left asking that very question.  I can honestly and truthfully say that God hasn’t always been that answer.  It’s not a bad thing because I understand that He can be “that way.”  Sometimes, He just wants you to do things yourself.  It is quite a talent to be self-sustaining.  It’s an even bigger talent to be able to choose not to be.

 

I can save myself.  I’ve been trained and given the necessary equipment to just that.  It’s part of my journey… and I’ve made some friends being on this path.  I’ve made some enemies.  I value the person I was as equally as I value the person I am now because I’ve been made whole by them because they compliment each other.  I don’t have to grant God the reverence He may deserve.  Not because He doesn’t deserve it but because I know How he works with me.  I understand how it works and I’m not necessarily the guy to mess with something that isn’t broken.  Furthermore, I don’t need Him to tell me He’s around.  Just like He knows I know my way Home.

 

I don’t need to know who the hero of my story is.  Maybe I don’t want to know.  I never have been central to my own life and it doesn’t seem like a good time to start.

 

It’s a common preconception that we have to be extraordinary to do extraordinary things.  Jesus was and it’s a hard example to follow.  I won’t lie.  Extraordinary people are most tempted by the most ordinary things.  Even Jesus was…

 

As true as that is, even ordinary people did extraordinary things too.

 

And I’ve found a little peace being just that.

-Kevin

 

 

Odds Are

Every now and then, I’ll be driving from somewhere to somewhere else and a song will play on the radio that just shoots from the hip and strikes the heart and just holds me accountable.

Part of growth is learning that risk management isn’t always taking chances or making decisions based on numbers.  There’s an inherent dynamic that says no matter how much the numbers may or may not favor you, there is always a chance that the opposite outcome will occur.  Instead of making decisions for reasons why they would succeed, I’ve been making decisions based on reasons why they would fail.

That really just isn’t a way to live.

Sure, things go wrong but I’ve always been willing to take my chances.

I’ve always been the type of person who felt that there had to be some concrete resolution.  Sure, I’ve been known to act in faith and that everything will sort itself out.  However, more often than not I believed that whatever that meant would bode badly for me just because that’s how everything else has wound up being.  It didn’t matter if I had good intentions or not.  Someone had to bear the consequences and I always felt that it would wind up being me.

Nothing worth risking was never worth having.  I firmly believe that with every fiber of my being.  I don’t think there will ever be a point where I stop believing that.  But, I think I’ve grown up enough to say that I’ve lost sight of what I thought was worth having.

Lately, I have been struggling with the fear of loss.  The fear of losing my friends, my family, and perhaps even my very essence and what made me special… whatever that may be.  I still haven’t figured that one out.  Everything of merit that I have, I’ve earned and even more to the point, has chosen to stay.  I’ve committed unhealthy acts of sabotage against everything and everyone who has added value to a life that probably doesn’t have any.  It honestly didn’t occur to me just how damaging this can really be until I burned through them all and saw what was left.

There’s always a chance that things will turn out exactly the opposite way that we hope they will.  As much as we say that it shouldn’t stop us from taking the risk, it is still a very effective deterrent.  We can take such a negative view on how we make our daily choices no matter how seemingly insignificant or disproportionately impacting we can make them out to be.

It’s so easy for us to make decisions that we trust will satiate our own selfish desires or the collective interests of a group.  It’s a much more difficult think to make decisions that don’t.  We have to make decisions that are right for everyone concerned.  I haven’t been able to make a decision that was right for me in a good, long time.  I’ve made decisions that defended in cowardice what I’ve desperately tried to hold on to with such emotion.  What I wanted, whether it be in a social, spiritual, or emotional sense, was never really important.  So, it was just easier to place those desires behind those who did matter.

I’ve been so afraid to make risky decisions because of the odds that I will fail and lose them too… whatever the chances I wouldn’t may have been.  Instead of believing the odds would have made me miserable, forced me to compromise, or perhaps even just lay down and accept that it was over and I needed to move on, I could have accepted that they could have equally worked in my favor.  Optimism was never a strong suit of mine.  It didn’t ever mean that I wouldn’t be alright in the sense that I’d be happy or taken care of.  It meant that I’d be alright that I’ve learned how to live without those wants and desires and be able to move on from them.  After all, they don’t really matter now, do they?  Odds are they probably do… then again, the odds are that I won’t have to worry about them.

The odds are that we will probably be alright.  Not just alright, but perhaps maybe, just maybe… the odds are we will probably be all right.

-Kevin

Survival Instinct

I can happily say that the last five days spent in Las Vegas has been some of the most interesting and life-enhancing time of my life.  Not just on a professional level but on so many emotional and personal levels.

 

It’s amazing just how much we take advantage of how much we trust people, or the lack thereof.  I have not met one person who gave a damn about how many welds it took to assemble their vehicles frame or how many separate parts it was.  I have met people who just cared enough to believe that their airbag would deploy in the event of an impact.  Those are the types of people I’ve spent too much time around.  I’ve spent too much time and energy with people who prepare for the impact and don’t pay attention to what they’re doing with their lives is made of.

 

This whole weekend I’ve spent in Vegas was centered around being trained… being trained in the art of living… being liberated from the things that keep us down… being liberated from the idea that we JUST CAN’T WIN…  Life isn’t a track meet.  It’s a marathon.  As cliche as that really sounds, it’s the fucking truth.  It’s not about winning.  It’s about finishing.  We, as a people, have learned that just because we crash and suffer doesn’t mean that the race is over.  It just means that we’ve crashed and suffered.  It isn’t the end.  It doesn’t have to take us out of the race.

 

The major point I’ve had just blitzed on my mind and heart was that we HAVE to trust the process and have the faith and courage to see things through.  It’s so easy to jump ship at the first sign of trouble.  It’s just as easy to let fear and doubt assume authority over our way of thinking.  It’s INSANELY DIFFICULT to trust the Captain when everything is perceived to be out of control.  The Bible says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains… and how many of us honestly and truthfully believe that?

 

Johnny Wimbrey described to me that in a world where we are born to win, we choose to lose.  I didn’t get what he meant at first.  I’ve heard him speak before but it didn’t resonate with me until I took into account really why I was here.  I came to Vegas because I believed that it would be good for me.  I had faith that I’d learn something while I was here.  I wanted to understand what it really meant to be a leader… a Captain.  First, he had to explain what it meant to win.  Winning isn’t about having the most points or being first!  Winning is about finishing whatever it is that you started.  More to the point, winning is a CHOICE.  I’ve chosen to lose… to not finish… so many times… and it stabbed me in the heart when he said this.

 

The thing about losing… is that we choose to take the road with the less amount of risk that benefits us the most.  It’s the human condition… it’s who we are!  The irony about all of us is that we won our first race.  I’m here, aren’t I?  It isn’t anybody else!  Ten billion sperm and you finished!  YOU ARE THE SOLE SURVIVOR!  Don’t tell me you weren’t born to win!  That’s exactly why you were born!  I’m a life long racing fan… I always have… and I’m fairly sure that I always will be.

 

To be honest, this whole thing scares the shit out of me.  I’m so used to doing things myself and listening to my own thinking that it makes me dangerous.  I admit it.  I am dangerous.  However, I am truly blessed to surround myself with a slew of mentors and other leaders who can outmaneuver my line of thinking.  It’s a humbling and enlightening experience to be in the presence of those who can do this.  In multitude, there is safety… the more surrounded you are, the better.  And I didn’t appreciate the idea of being surrounded by these types of people until yesterday afternoon.

 

On Thursday, I went to Exotics Racing out at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  I got to ride in a limousine!  That’s pretty cool!  If you haven’t, I highly suggest you do.  It’s totally worth it.  Anyway, I thought I was a pretty decent driver with a little bit of a lead foot.  When I got there, it was a totally different ball game.  After the ten minute safety briefing, we took a lap or two in a discovery car to get a feel for the track… then it was time to get in the car…

 

We all have talents that can bring us to the game but most of us don’t really appreciate or even trust them to get us into a position to play.  I was scared as all hell to get into the car.  I had to ask my instructor how to open the door!  How stupid did I feel?  How awkward was it for me for him to adjust the seat for me… I couldn’t even make myself feel comfortable.  It was the most nerve-wracking experience ever driving a car.  Through my every insecurity about driving a $110K car, my instructor didn’t judge me.  He didn’t say I was a bad driver.  He didn’t say I was a coward… All he said to me was basically, “Trust me.”  So, I took a deep breath and said to myself, “I’m here.  I’m in the car… I paid to be here.”  But, the most important thing I said to myself then was, “Brandon, I trust you.”  I had to get rid of every excuse I could have given to get out of the car and remember why I decided to get in.  Not because I felt obligated because I paid $560 for the experience (and yes, I do mean that) but because I wanted to be there.  It was my dream!  I fantasize about that car!  If that car was a woman, I would have done unspeakable things to her!  But, I digress…  I had to make the decision to not let my fear of failure and consequently a fiery disaster persuade me that I had a chance to do something great and worth doing.

 

So, he explained to me some of the nuances of the car and what we would be doing and asked me if I was ready.  Hell no, I wasn’t.  I was nervous, excited, and giddy all at the same time!  I didn’t wanna ruin it by becoming ungrounded from the thinking that I wouldn’t enjoy the journey.  Well, the drive in this case. 🙂

 

So, he told me where to go and off we went.  I had to trust that the training I had received prior and all of the in-car guidance I was getting would see me through to the end and the faith that Brandon wouldn’t let me fail.  The fact that I’m writing this is proof evident that the man did really well in keeping me safe.

 

I had a great time driving the Nissan GT-R.  My dream car… my fantasy… More than that, I lived a dream.  It’s proof evident that dreams, no matter how big or small, can come true as long as you courage to believe and the faith to stay on the train.  Instead of coming up with a reason to not drive and feel like a loser who welcomed failure, I made a choice to face my fear and let my “WHY” be bigger than any “NO.”

 

And because I chose to win, I’ve crossed three items off of my bucket list just by being here in Las Vegas.  Driving the GT-R,  Getting to actually race.  And just be in Las Vegas!

 

Johnny Wimbrey said, “Don’t argue for your limitations.  People will let you keep them.”

 

Because I chose not to argue the things I couldn’t do, I was given the freedom to do the things I could.  Nobody can speak to you like you… and I spoke to myself and said, “I can do this.”

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And because I had the faith and courage, I finished the race.  I won!  But, I had a lot of help from someone who said to me that it’s the little things that kept me from doing better than I could have.  Even then, he still said I did great and I believed him.  He didn’t abandon me.  He didn’t give up on me.  He didn’t let me fail.  Through the ups and down, we stood on the train and arrived at the end together.  I didn’t just win… WE won… and it was much more fun when it was the both of us and equally as frightening as when it was just me…

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Believe me when I tell you he got onto me… the video, if I’m nice enough to post it, will demonstrate that.  He believed that I didn’t have to be talented to be successful… just willing to learn and be coached.  Even then, the track wasn’t dry and there were water puddles.  Talk about unfair!

 

I was hanging by a thread.  Instead of cutting my thread, I chose to connect my thread to people who could strengthen my resolve and have the faith… to have faith.

 

There is better.  There is a possibility to win.

 

Trust me.

-Kevin

 

 

 

 

Captain’s Chair

“I always thought I’d get a shot at this chair one day.”

 

Lately, I’ve been moody.  Not in a happy or sad sense… for the most part, I’ve been a happy person.  A lot of good things have happened to me and I’ve learned to ride the momentum and to cherish everyone and everything that has brightened my life to date.

 

I’ve been moody in the sense that I’ve really begun to liken the journey that I’m on to having a command.  I’ve had to learn how to follow, and yes, being a follower is definitely more of a learning experience than you think it is… and I’ve also had to learn to assume the authority that command entails.  Out of the two, learning to wield authority has definitely been more of the eye opening experiences of the two.  Not to mention, perhaps the most trying and infuriating of the two.  But, perhaps the real skill to master here is knowing when to command and knowing when to let yourself be commanded.

 

A friend of mine said that our personality is the sum of the five people that we most closely associate with.  I believe he’s right.  We’ve let them close to us and influence knows no discrimination.  There is just this part of us that wants so much better than what we already have.  I’m not saying that what we have isn’t necessarily good or bad but if you’re a “Glass is half full” type of person, you could definitely endeavor to “fill your glass,” so to speak.

 

As easy as we make that sound sometimes, I’ve found that it’s become increasingly difficult to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves.  Me personally, I’ve found that I’m a “Glass is half empty” type of person.  It definitely takes a lot of courage to take on such a task of completely flipping this trait of my personality.  But, even more so, the level of risk involved is definitely intimidating.  Rejection is one of the most crippling fears that I possess.  It honestly is.  I don’t take chances unless I wholeheartedly believe that there is no chance of failure.  And if you ever get a chance to speak to me about it, it speaks volumes about the experiences and memories that have defined me as a person… so far.

 

However, being around the people I’ve invested myself in over the last good while has taught me that being rejected is just a part of Life.  It’s going to happen no matter what.  What really hasn’t sunk in, considering the level of success that I’ve experienced first hand with these people, is that it doesn’t stop them from continuing.  I don’t measure success as being financially secure, having a family, or necessarily anything tangible that you could associate with the word.  I consider “success” as having a firm grasp on how one experiences Life.  Yes, I know quite a few of these people and I’m blessed to have them in my life.  No, they always have not enjoyed the level of “success” they now do enjoy.  That’s why I appreciate them as I do.

 

One of the lessons that they’ve taught me that I’ve taken for granted for as long as I’ve known them is about risk.  “Risk is part of the game if you want to sit in that chair.”  Risk really is part of the game.  We do it all the time and don’t give it a second thought until it presents a conflict with our sensibilities.  One of the hardest things that I’ve come to experience about being granted command over anything in my life is knowing when to risk something in favor of something better.  A lot of lessons that I’ve been taught is to be content with what you have being nothing really is promised to you.  It’s hard to overcome that fear because Life also teaches you fear is a very powerful motivator.  We never know if something will succeed or fail until we try but if we’re too consumed by our fear and insecurities to try… it’s an outcome we will deny ourselves or save ourselves from experiencing.  Depending on what side of the glass you’re drinking from…

 

Through all of the experiences that I’ve gone through and all of the people that I’ve had the pleasure and the privilege to associate myself with, I am glad to have been given a chance to command the types of influences I come into contact with.  I may not always get to pick and choose the types of people I come across but I’ve definitely been blessed with some wisdom in knowing that said people pose either a chance to grow more as a person or to regress back into traits that I feel like I’ve grown out of.

 

But, the most important lesson that I feel that I’ve learned is that nobody really is fit to wield any kind of authority over themselves or anyone else for that matter.  It’s just too powerful of a tool for anyone to expect to use responsibly.  However, one of the burdens of command is that there will be times where you may have no choice to exercise influence and authority over someone else.  Letting someone pour their experiences of tragedy and triumph can be a risky thing to do and in the end could do a lot of damage or create a stepping stone in the ascent of who you are to become.

 

And I’ve found that being in the Captain’s chair is less about being in control and more about being groomed into a person that knows they shouldn’t be there but have been blessed by those around them enough to have been given the opportunity to affect success in others.

 

“Perhaps you still will… somehow I doubt that this will be the last ship to carry the name Enterprise.”

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