There is a storyline that emerges with results. If one is successful, then obviously success was due to one’s brilliant application of great ideas. One navigated through treacherous circumstances, climbed impossible mountains, and kept everyone on the same page. If not for ______ (story teller’s name implied), the project would have failed. Alternatively, if things were less than successful, then obviously the strategy laid out by others was flawed, a team member (or two) did not live up to her/his potential, or something outside of one’s control was too something to imagine, control, over overcome. Failure never rests with me.
I listened, hearing three truth strands in the rhetoric.
Success is never a singular event. It takes a community (more than one). Even if there was only one in action, there was a giver and a receiver. Usually, it is a team of individuals making a difference for a community.
Great ideas always rest in someone else. Original thoughts are rare. In the main, ideas tried and tested by others are applied to the situation we find ourselves in. This does not minimize the wisdom in seeing and applying the ideas. It reflects that wisdom is often taking the insights that others have shared and applying it in the moment we find ourselves in.
Strength, endurance, and perseverance all find their source of strength in hope. Without hope, the burdens of a journey will consume everyone, even the strongest. Without hope, the darkness and difficulties will triumph over the human soul. Hope is divinity’s gift of energy to deal with the impossible.
As I listened to stories of success and failure, I realized that there was one with a difference. In that story it was not about the storyteller, it was about others. No heroics. I listened to one thankful to being part of something greater than anything s/he imagined. The words echoed David’s; “Is not this the God who armed me, then aimed me in the right direction?” (Psalm 18.32) They knew they were gifted with something greater than themselves.
My story’s compass is pointing…