I prefer the window seat whenever I fly, because the view is spectacular! Everything appears so peaceful. Mountain ranges are picturesque. Cities appear slow, calm and quite. Everything seems to be in order. From 30,000 feet above, things look pretty good.
This peaceful view, however, hides the reality the conditions below. Frigid winter temperatures, scorching summer heat, or a congested, noisy city aren’t really noticeable when viewed at in climate controlled comfort at 30,000 feet.
It’s not until we get up close to the environment that we realize things are markedly different thank they first appeared.
I think it’s like that with people as well. From a distance, people often appear to be free of difficulty or challenges in their life. Yet it’s not until we get close up and connect with someone that we realize they are facing challenges, concerns or difficulties that aren’t easily seen from a distance.
This thought reminds me that most people are likely struggling with, worried about, or concerned with something that’s not visible to us. It also reminds me that I would do well to approach others with grace and, when appropriate, the willingness to be close up.
On Friday June 2nd at about 9:45am Pacific Time, I completed the Rim to Rim hike in the Grand Canyon. This is a hike I have wanted to do since first visiting the Grand Canyon back in 2013. It was a fantastic experience that I will never forget.
One of the key motivators for doing this hike was a view of Plateau Point I saw from the South Rim during my visit in 2013. Plateau Point is easily visible from the south rim of the canyon, just west of the El Tovar Lodge.
What captivated me about this view was the small trail that lead out to the point. From my vantage several thousand feet above I could see people walking along that trail toward the end of the point. As I watched them, I wondered what type of view they must have and how great it must be to be down there walking that trail. Their presence on the trail intrigued me and stirred a desire to find out for myself what that experience is like.
The people I saw on the tail had no idea that I was watching them and that their presence on the trail was motivating me to one day hike that trail as part of my Rim to Rim experience. As I hiked the trail to the end of Plateau Point last week, I wondered if there were people on the South Rim watching me. I’d like to think there was someone that saw me and thought, “That looks like something I’d like to do. I’m going to make that happen!”
I think we can motivate others to do great things without even knowing it. The people I saw on Plateau Point back in 2013 had no idea they were inspiring me to take action. They were simply doing their thing out on the trail.
I like to think that maybe I’ve been able to do the same for others.
“When you promise a kid something, you’d better do it. They take it seriously.” ~Unknown
When I came across this quote recently, I was reminded of a nephew of ours. Last year when my wife and I went to visit him and his family, he mentioned a specific hike that he’d like to do the next time we came to town. I told him that next time we were in town, we would do the hike together.
We’ll be going to visit him this summer and I’m already planning on doing this hike with him. It’s going to be a fun time!
It’s not just kids that notice when we don’t keep our word. Adults notice too.
Making promises or committing to something is easy. Following through on those promises requires more from us than mere words. It requires not only action, but a mindset that our words have value and that when we commit to something we’ll follow through. To do so, or not, says something about our word and our character.
Let’s be aware of the promises we make. If we make a promise, to a child or another adult, let’s commit to following through. Otherwise, refrain from making promises we know we won’t keep.