Updated: Jul 4, 2021
Have you ever noticed that those that keep their standards low coast through life blissfully unaware of the potential joy and growth available to them. They complain that there’s always someone else to blame. Their hardships, struggles and trials are due to someone else and their misgivings. They believe that God, the world, the government and even you owe them something. They expect everything for free. And honestly believe that faith comes without trial or that reward comes without risk or they simple lack faith altogether. Yet they believe inwardly that they have found joy while the rest of us look upon them easily seeing their reward eluding them because they have chosen to follow cultural and temporal norms that lead to more despair, hardship and pain. Simply put, we pity them.
Oddly enough the strive for perfection and greatness leaves others feeling alone on a journey that they believe others simply cannot understand. The road less traveled is often a lonely one. It’s voyagers are many times driven by only the en
d of the voyage and not the journey itself missing the passengers along the path with them. It’s easy to find the trailblazers that pioneered the journey before us. Many are willing to share their keys to success and winning ways. They tout their victories in the media and through self-help books. Their stories can be inspiring to many and discouraging to others. We can find insight from those that trod the path before us but can easily fall into despair as we compare our minor triumphs to their great feats.
As we grow and reach for higher pinnacles we become more aware of our shortcomings and have a stronger desire to improve on all aspects of our lives. We find ourselves struggling to prioritize the one thing that needs attention now. This causes frustration, turmoil and sometimes depression. We second guess our decisions and wonder if thinking and acting within the box is the better decision. That somehow, just because, “this is how it’s always been done” means it’s the right way. We then choose the mainstream over creativity. We decide that comfortability is better than greatness.
It seems unfair that the cowards and weak of the world get to live free of accountability while those strong, good men face each trial head on only to be given another and another, more difficult, endeavor after the last. Many times these trials seem to overwhelm us. They seem to be far beyond our realm of understanding let alone expertise. Sometimes to the point that throwing in the towel seems to be the best and only option. That maybe, just maybe quitting is best for everyone.
It’s not without trial that we find faith. It’s not without risk that we find reward. It’s not without pain that we find strength. There is no sweet without the bitter. We desire to have only the good and happy times but without the struggles we will never experience full joy. We must recognize that to reach what God has intended for us we may have to go through Hell itself.
It’s at this moment that must look to see who’s traveling this journey with us. It’s during this final moment of despair that we find our strongest allies. Our families that have looked to us as their heroes despite our shortfalls. They recognize us as the men that we desire and strive to be even when we don’t see it ourselves. It’s in our band of brothers or our tribes. Men that hold us accountable to greatness as we do the same for them. This lonely path that we thought we traveled is actually full of support and love that we simply failed to see. Our own pride caused us to be blind to our companions along the way. The passenger seats were not empty but full and sometimes you need someone else to take the wheel.
When we lean on our people they don’t look down on us but instead they lift us up. They push us toward greatness. They become our strength in our moments of weakness. When we surround ourselves with a tribe that expects more they are also willing to aid us to get more. I don’t know if it really takes a village to raise a child but I do know that it takes one to create great men. None have ever reached the top on their own. What a lonely place that would be. When we submit to greatness, we raise the bar higher and higher. A low bar requires no safety net but a high one requires support. That support is found with our families, our tribe, our people. With like minds, hearts and spirits we overcome hopelessness and far exceed our own expectations.