Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The Cause

I got into my car fending off tears. These weren’t tears of sadness but rather tears of supreme… supreme what?  

I pulled out of the parking lot and headed north. I was leaving Little Rock as I spent the previous three days presenting at various Easterseals Arkansas venues. This was my first time back to presenting as if the pandemic hadn’t happened. It was… it was something I forgot.

As Little Rock disappeared in my rear view mirror, I kept reflecting on this feeling I couldn’t define. Tears were still trying to make their presence known as I tried to maintain my composure. I tried to figure out what I was feeling, and I knew the almost four years of not presenting to live audiences had made me forget what it was like to see the “ah ha” moments people in my audiences have, but it wasn’t that. It couldn’t be, this feeling wasn’t about what I did, and that’s when I figured out that this wasn’t about me at all, it was the people I met.

Over the past three days I had met hundreds of individuals and their questions had amazed me. The smiles, the motivation, and most of all the courage. From presenting at Easterseals Arkansas’s school, to presenting to their program to prepare a person for employment, the questions I were asked, and the stories of those that offered them touched me greatly. The tears were in amazement of the human spirit, and I once again realized the gigantic need that exists out there. 

Some of the questions I got asked were, “who was your biggest supporter?” 

“What is it like on race day for the Indy 500?” 

“What was job interviewing like?” They loved the story of my misadventures on this one!

And the question that hit me with every force of emotion possible, “how did you keep your dream alive when people told you not to follow them?”

As I got halfway home, and crossed into Missouri, I began to understand, once more, that the thing that motivates me are the people I present to. I tell my story, but when others get the courage to speak up, to share their struggles, hopes, and dreams, well, I know it’s easy for myself to do so but the courage it can take for others to do so is awe-inspiring. 

It’s been several days since I returned home, and I’m still in awe. It is such an honor to have been invited to present, and I can’t wait until I get the next chance to share my story, and in turn to hear others hopes and dreams. 

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