The world is in turmoil. I once wrote in this forum that one day we would wake up and find the world a different place than when we went to sleep. Refugees crowding onto boats or crossing the borders, mass shootings, war torn countries would cause any human to a fear the worst from these tragedies. Brene Brown has written several NY Times Best Selling Books; vulnerability is the common topic in her work. Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly and recently Raising Strong all share a human message. That secret is "if we are brave enough, often enough, we will fail. When we fall, get up, and do it again". is that what life holds for us? How can we be brave if ultimately we will fail? Answer by failing we learn not to fail by repeating those same mistakes. Those who do not have the courage to fail will never learn. John F. Kennedy authored a book Profiles in Courage. The book told of brave decisions by world leaders when courage was most needed. When the world was at war with the bombs exploding inside his city of London, Winston Churchill proclaimed on a radio broadcast to his country "we will fight on the beaches, we will fight in the streets, we will Never surrender, We will never never give up." Courage is not the absence of fear it is overcoming your fear. Failure is only temporary. The lesson is Raising Strong. We are at war for the minds of our youth.
My friend Jerry Horowitz of NFL Player Development was recently honored at a reunion of his former and current football player's from JFK High School. Jerry was the winningest coach in New York City before joining the NFL. Due to the recent boiler explosion at that Bronx's High School the team was forced to break up. An entire section of the school was destroyed. Suddenly the young men are now spread out across Manhattan in different schools. Jerry reminded them, High school age is that mysterious teen age time when childhood is gone and adulthood is near. Their test of adulthood is courage. Raising strong is to now contribute to your new team's success . Sure it is a tough time but football teaches you to have courage when you fall, get up, and do it again. These young men got up one day and their world had changed.
My thoughts drifted back to when I was a High School Coach. Two championships and many young men moving on to College come to mind. But the tragic JFK High School explosion came to mind. I remembered when our Janitor ran into the Cafeteria in a panic. "Get these kids out of here the boiler under this room is building pressure and it's going to explode"! As the teachers instructed the students to evacuate the cafeteria our head coach said "let's go - we have to help Jeff get that boiler under control" I looked at the beads of sweat on Jeff's face and knew he needed help - and need it fast! Was I afraid? Does a bear sleep in the woods. As we descended the steps down to the boiler room I thought to myself will I ever be coming back up. Once in the furnace room I saw the pressure valve needle moving fast well beyond the red danger warning. Without hesitation the three of us became a team. With all hands on the wheel of the valve we turned the stuck valve and slowly, so slowly it began to move. After what seamed like forever the pressure valve needle began to subside. The escaping steam was like music to our ears. After all was under control we breathed a sigh of relief and high-fived each other. Most of our daily routines are conducted in comfort. Courage is sometimes an after thought. Each day we have men and women on the front lines as first responders. Our EMT's, Fireman, and Police are courageous enough to keep us all living our lives. Fear is never absent. In times of emergency Raising Strong will over come fear.