“It was a good game that may even have served a purpose.”
-Quote from, “Single Harness”
You never know in life the things that will make a difference. You never know how one thing will affect another and then another even still. The most minute detail or experience could likely have a profound impact on one’s ability to be a person they never would have been had it not been for that seemingly insignificant moment.
We see these moments and experiences scattered through history in the lives of those who have accomplished the most astounding things. One of those such lives was Walt Disney. This man behind the mouse grew up in the very American town of Marceline, Missouri, with the very American job of a paper route. And it was in these moments of the hardest kind of work, in the coldest kind of winters that Walt Disney learned the value and necessity of hard work regardless of the circumstances. This would be a value and a trait that would later loom large in his relentless pursuit of the most iconic company in the history of the modern age.
Then there was the late Silicon Valley founder, Steve Jobs. In his initial moment of profound insight, his father would come home and teach him how to take apart and put together radios and TV’s. These quintessential moments would later lead him to not just influence culture, but create it. The touchscreen wonder in your pocket and the tablet you are likely reading this on right now are all a direct result of a seemingly insignificant moment in a garage 50 years ago.
There was also the great communicator, Ronald Reagan. Fresh out of college, Reagan decided to interview for a radio broadcast job at a university in Iowa. Little did he know, this was the first domino out of many that would fall to lead him to places no one ever thought he would go- all the way to the presidency of the United States. And not just any president, but one of the most significant and important in our nation’s history. Yet it was the insignificant radio job that would, among many other things, provide him the experience and opportunity to ultimately possess the most important job in the world.
These people and their stories are worth remembering if for no other reason than they remind us that the big things in life don’t “just happen”. Instead, the big things require the little things. And it’s the little things that in hindsight, are the most mysterious of all. What if Walt never had the paper route? What if Jobs rode his bike instead of being in the garage? What if Reagan never took the job? Of course we can’t know the answers to those questions and for the sake of our psyche it’s probably best we don’t even ask. But it’s slightly comforting knowing that maybe, just maybe that fairly insignificant thing you’ll do tomorrow might just serve a purpose.