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  • Jonathan Darling

What If?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019


I love inspirational videos on Facebook and YouTube. Absolutely love them. Often times, I find myself caught in binge mode watching video after video. I really get into them. Sometimes, even sitting in the airport, I get a little emotional, overwhelmed by the story. Tears begin to form in my eyes and I quickly realize that the people sitting around me are probably wondering why a grown man is weeping and smiling at the same time. It’s a real problem.

This past weekend, I had one of those episodes. I was scrolling through Facebook and happened across a video. It was a video of a young boy in a karate gee, standing in front of his Sen Sei who was holding a board. The caption on the video read, “My boy learned one of the most important lessons in his life today! Never.. Ever Give Up!” Obviously, I had to watch.

(This is the link to the video https://youtu.be/PbKeTBf03z4 )

The video showed the young boy trying to break a board with his foot by doing a downward heel kick. You see him in his stance, at the ready and with a swift move, he raises his foot and strikes the board. Nothing happens. Instantly on his face you see disappointment. He gets back in his stance and strikes again. Nothing. Tears start forming in the boy’s eyes (mine too!) and he quickly wipes them away as he gets back into his ready position. Again, his heel comes down on the board, and again, no break. You can hear him say, fighting through the tears, “I can’t do it.” His Sen Sei says confidently, “Yes You Can!” At this point in the video, everyone in the place was focused on the boy. You see people start clapping and cheering in the background. His friends are now gathered around, slapping the ground in unison, chanting his name, standing in solidarity with the boy. You hear a man’s voice in the background say, “You can do anything!”

(Goosebumps yet? Cause I have them just typing about it!)

With everyone cheering, clapping and slapping the mats, the boy is back in his stance. He raises his heel and slams it to the board. No break…..but…. this one was different. This kick had a renewed sense of purpose behind it. A new energy. Even louder now, the crowd and his compatriots cheered as if knowingly, the incredible was about to happen. One last stance. One last kick.

BAMMMMMM!!!!!!!! CRACKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!

The board snaps in half! His friends raise up, and just as if he had hit the game winning shot of the NBA Championship, grabbing him and jumping for joy until they all fall to the ground in a massive dog pile. The boy’s face is one giant smile as he is overwhelmed with joy and accomplishment. It was incredible.

I watched this video over and over. Each time getting more and more emotional. My heart was so happy for the boy and I felt a sense of pride, almost as if it were my own child. I wanted to be in that dog pile. I wanted to celebrate with them! I wanted to raise him up and carry him out of the building like they did Rudy!

As I sat there, after watching it a dozen times, a thought kept speaking to me. Over and over again, I could hear it. A question.

“What if?”

Over and over again I heard it.

“What if”

What if we surrounded those who are desperately pursing their dreams, battling intensely for their goals and facing adversity with love, encouragement and enthusiasm? What if we stood beside them, making sure they knew they had our full support and confidence? That we loved them and believed in them. What if our words were of positivity and were the gasoline to turn their spark into a great blaze?

What if we circled around them, chanting their names, slapping the ground in unison, cheering them on when they wanted to give up? What if, when they said they couldn’t do it, we fervently called back, with a passion and fire in our voice, YES YOU CAN! YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! What if we lifted others up and held them high when they felt low? What if, in their darkest time, when things felt overwhelming, we lifted them up and carried them? Hoisting them up on our shoulders so that they could stand a little higher and they could see what we see, the great unlimited potential that they have inside them.

What if, when they finally accomplish their goal, allowing them to live out their dreams, our cheers echoed through the cosmos? What if, in pure joy and excitement for their accomplishments, we rush to them arms wide, embracing them? What if our celebration carried us to the ground, falling together, overwhelmed with joy and jubilation.

You see, it’s easy for us to be overwhelmed with emotion, watching a young boy overcome a challenge. We view a video like this and smile, feeling a little bit better about our day but often miss the most important lesson. Hidden behind the main character is the most important piece. Now don’t get me wrong, the young boy fighting through adversity is a great lesson, but it’s the background and the secondary characters we must focus on. It’s their actions that can truly help shape our lives and our world! We often miss, that critical to this boy’s success, was the people who were standing beside him, around him and with him, chanting his name. We miss the people who were speaking life into him, encouraging him and loving him through it.

It’s the people who BELIEVED IN HIM, THAT BECAME THE CATALYST FOR HIS OWN SELF BELIEF!

There are people, all around us, everyday, who are out there chasing their dreams. They are in a battle, desperately fighting to become who they truly believe they were created to be. They are facing obstacles, challenges and rejection. Every day they face a world that constantly tries to tell them that they aren’t good enough, not talented enough and they’ll never make it. They are told to stop stepping out, stay in their lane and be more practical and realistic. They are judged, looked down on and outcast. Each moment of failure is emphasized by the phrase, “I told you so.” Negativity is heaved on them daily and its weight is almost unbearable.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

It’s time we take a stand! It’s time we pull together and cast off our fears! It’s time we become the shoulders on which others can stand. It’s time that we put aside our need for playing it safe and charge headfirst into the battle. It’s time we let those around us know they aren’t alone. It’s time we let them know that we want them to achieve their dreams, their goals and their ambitions just as badly as they do. It’s time we show them how much we believe in them and their unlimited potential for greatness.

Everyone has dreams. Everyone has an idea of who they were created to be. The challenge is that so often, that dream, is on the other side of a giant. This giant towers over us, overshadowing us with the negativity of others, wielding its weapons made of self-doubt and fear. But this giant, as big and massive as he seems, pales in comparison when those in the fight stand on the shoulders of others who believe in them.

Isn’t it time we gave them a place to stand?

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