Holidays are really hard for me for a lot of reasons. This Thanksgiving I went out with Catherine to a tiny town east of South Bend where her dad and step-mom live. The holiday itself was pretty standard fare. The bigger reason for the trip was her dad's 60th birthday party on Saturday, which would bring in about 60 people from all over the world.
He runs the Fourth Freedom Forum, an organization that promotes peace by way of smart, non-violent policy. This is a guy that's really making meaningful change in the world and has inspired others to do so for decades.
I think the attention made him a little uncomfortable, because he's clearly not ego driven, but it's interesting to see how people respond to someone who is, in his mind, just doing what he does. It makes you want to be that kind of person, who inspires just by being himself.
But learning more about him, and the people in his life, it's also clear that he's had quite a journey. Having children, hitting professional milestones, taking on The Man, etc., are all things that came along as they did.
It's funny how I'm still trying to de-program myself from those high school days where they said you had to get a good test score, go to college, pick a major, and do that the rest of your life. I love that I'm in a place now where I have so many options. I don't feel like there's any pressure to reach any particular potential because I've presumably got plenty of time.
Anyway, not sure how I relate someone else's wonderful life to my own, other than to say that people are capable of great things, and I feel inspired to do great things. :)