Wading through the culture of slop……Eddie Would Go!
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it”- Lou Holtz
It seems that most of what we get out the the cultural firehose these days, is the stuff of naked emperors. The rule is posturing and the preferred vehicles of expression have become volume, vanity and vitriol.
While I generally consider myself a fairly optimistic person, I can’t help but feel a bit discouraged with the overall push towards a shallow middle……..a culture of apathy……..a retreat from the edges….from aspiration.
In a world where Bieber is the musical standard, Rush Limbaugh is considered an objective political opinion, Snooki is ratings gold and life is increasingly lived through the safe harbor of a virtual world, we risk losing our true heroes and we certainly undermine the value of determination, valor and the magic of hard fought accomplishment.
In a given day we’re
– Assailed by vapid droves of media misfits that are solely validated by the quantity of their tabloid coverage and the extent to which it can be exploited.
– Globally inundated by politicians violently aligned to world views that are short-sighted, hypocritical and self serving.
– Under siege with statistics of obesity, disease, sedentary lifestyles and a culture of blame
– Told that everyone is a “winner” and that we need to coddle the development of our youth……rather than teach them how to actually succeed.
– Comically festooned with the badges born of a culture inspired by material gain…..one that marches to the relentless beat of “more, faster, easier”.
In this race to re-establish an unprecedented nadir for the cultural lowest common denominator, we seem to have lost the currency of effort, the merit of compassion, the true value of honest failure and the ultimate unshakable confidence of redemption.
Without tumbling down a mountain a few times, you’ll never know the feeling of ripping an epic powder line……….if not for the courage to stand in front of a crowd, it is impossible to truly understand what it means to inspire an audience with mere words………we can never harness the power of the finish line, if we don’t aspire to the first step. To be impelling we must know what it takes to achieve.
I’ve been fortunate to have great role models and amazingly inspirational people have encouraged me to tap into abilities I may have never discovered. These influences have led to the realisation that my accomplishments can indeed eclipse the sum of my faults and fears.
I firmly believe these things live in us all…….if we’re only willing to move beyond the sanctity of the herd and hold onto the people and things that truly matter.
Inevitably it comes down to choice. Who do we choose to revere? What lessons do we learn and how do we apply the wisdom? How much fight is in our hearts…..when it really matters.
When I begin to feel a bit overwhelmed with the onslaught of cultural fluff, I try to remember all the great people that continue to shine a light on valor.
One of those is the late, great Eddie Aikau.
Eddie was an original lifeguard on the North Shore of Oahu, a champion Hawaiian big wave surfer, a true “water man”……..an most importantly an individual of great courage and selflessness.
As a member of a crew that was recreating the great Polynesian voyage taken by original Hawaiian ancestors in double hulled canoes, he was faced with the ultimate decision as the vessel capsized 12 miles of the coast of Molokai. Stay and hope that the crew are saved……….or jump on his surfboard and paddle the 12 miles, through brutal currents to bring help from rescue authorities back on shore. Eddie choose to paddle and ultimately gave his life in the process………I’m guessing it was never really much of a choice in his mind…..he only knew one way to live.
When faced with challenges and adversity, a saying often heard in Hawaii is……..”Eddie would go!” The question worth asking now…..would you?
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