Across the memories left by my father, there is a recurring theme. In living life to the full, he asked, encouraged, and empowered me to do the same. A critical moment came when I told him I was considering a move to New York and Wall Street.
“Bill, you know I do not understand Wall Street details. I do know you are in financial services. Like any racer, if you are going to race, at some point in your career you have to go to Indy. This is your Indy 500. Go, compete, and win!”
As I think of this conversation along with many others, I find myself coming back to the ways he empowered me as I face the day ahead.
Opportunities need to be seized. Rare moments gift us with opportunity. For opportunities to live, bold decisions with real unknowns must be embraced. Equally so, light moments give one an opportunity to play a practical joke on a friend by planting a tall papaya plant in the walkway leading to his house, to launch rocket fireworks on a sombre meeting, and to drive 10 hours each way so that we could go to a car show for an hour together.
Opportunities are better when they are shared. At age fourteen I was empowered to go on a 3+ week third-class road trip on India’s railways with a fifteen-year-old friend to visit our old school campus. I cannot imagine what my parents were thinking. I do know I was encouraged to create a life memory that still brings a smile.
Opportunities are adventures. Old words play out; “You shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law – how it works and how its power touches only the living.” (Romans 7.1) One may focus on the risk, or one can enjoy the joy captured in a framed wall print in a small city near the China border of North Vietnam. Dad loved the stories from that ride as well as the people I shared it with.