“It was all very impressive and was over in what seemed like seconds”
-Quote from Single Harness
By: Gary DeBoard
I once heard a story of an ambitious young man whose dream was to build a company that produced world class children’s entertainment complete with characters and original story lines much like Walt Disney World. In fact, this man’s model in life and business was Walt Disney himself. It was audacious and quite frankly absurd, as most dreams are. But besides an obvious talent for his craft, this man had that “something” that few men do. As fanciful and generic as the dream sounded, he had a chance. A chance to make it big. And not just big, but massive.
It started as many of these stories do- one guy with a dream in some small room in the middle of relatively nowhere with no money. But the passion for the dream was contagious and before long there were multiple people working toward this dream. For awhile it was difficult. There were victories and defeats, and the defeats were resounding and large. But after a time, the victories became a little bigger than the defeats. And then, inextricably, it happened. The preverbal fly wheel started to turn. Momentum was on his side and the defeats were no where to be found. He amassed wealth, power, influence, notoriety, and success. His dream was no longer fanciful fiction but an intriguing story of an ambitious man that looked oddly like Walt Disney in his younger years.
But as the convincing ocean wave builds mightily only to mysteriously duck under the water to never be seen again, so the dream that once seemed so promising and even successful was gone. Bad business and shady partners were its doom. In his commentary on the aftermath of his now failed dream, years removed, you could still hear the longing for what was in his words and voice. Though broken hearted he still remembered fondly the groundswell of success. He marveled at how impressive it all was, for a time, and remarked how quickly it seemed to end.
Whether we’ll accept it or not, in hindsight this is always how life works. Have you ever heard an older person remark how slow their life seemed to move when they reminisce? Or have you ever heard the empty nest parent, in their most serious moment, wish they had less time with their kids? As hard as we try, we can’t slow it down. And we do try, though foolish as it is. Why is it that we struggle so much to accept finality? Why is it that we cannot be content with what was, even as fleeting as it was. Why must we always grasp for more when what we had was almost always enough? These questions move us to the heart of our insecurities and true selves. Yet the answers are not absent or non-existent. They are there to be found, but they must be sought out. Until we figure out those answers, let us be mindful of the moment and the phase of life in which we find ourselves. Because in what will seem like seconds, those impressive moments will be but a memory.