Reaching – A Search for Hope, Humility & Understanding

There are moments in life when we know that doing just enough or merely completing the task at hand will no longer be sufficient; we suddenly know better. Somehow mediocrity is not satisfying. A passing grade is unacceptable. The act of merely existing is no longer an option as the struggle to understand the meaning of it all and what part you play in it takes center stage.

More than simply longing for a dear friend from the past or a familiar place that you seem to be missing, this mysterious yearning is not easily gratified. No, a thirst from such inner depths may never be quenched, or so it seems. By never taking the chance to do something brilliant you kill a small part of your hidden dreamer a little more each day. For this reason alone we must continue to try.

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp. Or what’s a heaven for?” – Robert Browning

Davis Mountains Texas 5-25-2015
Somewhere along the beautiful Davis Mountains near Fort Davis in West Texas; searching for something beyond (picture taken May 25, 2015).

From a very early age I seemed to long for something deeper in this life. Something I could neither see nor grab onto – this phantom always escaping my attempts to find and latch onto it. Perhaps it’s a dreamer’s curse to never quite realize the greatness of harnessing this unknown desire. However, when your soul seems at odds with the very world surrounding it you either bury the dream so deep it will never find your heart again or you run after it with your very last breath.

I believe that we have all been gifted with tremendous abilities to fulfill our individual assignment on this Earth. No one is given life by mistake or happenstance; there is a greater purpose to your very existence. How you choose to live your life is completely in your hands and you might even decide to reject the very mission you are here to fulfill.

Perhaps the greatest offense you will ever commit is never sharing with the rest of the world the very gift you have been so graciously given. Giftings are more than just attributes that set us apart from others. The reason you have such extraordinary qualities placed within you has more to do with others than it has to do with you. People need hope, direction and encouragement in this life and if we can find some small way to make a dent in the darkness for someone else, then we should do it.

Writing has to be one of my oldest friends. It was there for me as early as the age of 8 when my short story, The Lion Stalks, was secretly entered in a school writing contest. Mrs. Kiewel did more than garner me brief praise in the third grade, she sparked a small fire inside of me. First she stoked my young spirit with kindness and inspiration in the classroom and then she nourished me on her own faith when she believed I could do something greater with what I was given.

Long before I knew or even understood I had a gift, someone believed in me enough to take the chance on my behalf. What a tremendous jewel she gave me. How do you thank a person for making such an impact on your little life? You return that gift by not letting it go to waste, by not burying the talent and by looking out for other small lives that you can impact in a positive way, too.

Mrs. Kiewel never stopped nurturing my new found love for creating and developing stories from our weekly vocabulary lists. She continued to pour into the life of this quiet, introverted boy by feeding my hunger for new words and language. The child who seemed to have little voice, if any voice at all, would soon come to find a wide and expansive voice in the numerous stories crafted week in and week out. Writing became second nature to me and no matter what situation I would find myself in, writing was the friend who could never leave me.

Along with entering my story in the Adelanto Elementary School Literature Fair and continuing to help me grow and improve, she took an even more important step by spotlighting my subtle talent to my parents at a teacher’s conference:

“You must be sure to pay close attention to his writing work,” she shared with confidence. “He has a rare gift and an ability to capture details in his stories that I have never seen from someone his age. He is going to be a writer one day.” (No, I did not recall this direct quote on my own, this was shared with me some years later by my parents).

I truly believe Mrs. Kiewel knew quite a lot about hope, humility and understanding. She did more than just pay lip service to the cause, she was a disciple to otherwise meaningless little lives. Oh, what a difference one moment of encouragement can make in a person’s life. Without our knowledge, decades later, that very act of humility rings loud and clear to the individual granted a grain of mercy so long ago.

This blog, Reaching: A Search for Hope, Humility & Understanding, will serve as another outlet to express my thoughts and ideas on diverse topics found in daily life. I would love to hear your perspectives, thoughts and questions and encourage you to respond by commenting in the space provided at the bottom of each blog entry. Thanks for taking the time to visit this site.

This is merely the beginning of something that is sitting just beyond the horizon. All journeys emerge from our desire to find true meaning. Never stop searching. Never stop questioning. Never stop Reaching.

2 thoughts on “Reaching – A Search for Hope, Humility & Understanding

  1. Hi Rob,

    I only found your blog today and was interested to read more about fulfilling our potential. You were extraordinarily fortunate in having your teacher, Miss Kiewel, encourage you to the degree that she did. It seems to have been an excellent start for you in discovering your talents and potential in life.

    Sadly, not everyone has such a good start; however, I agree that as we grew, we’re all able to make changes to our life as we go along (if we wish to) in order to progress. In my case, I was born into a very non-supporting environment and an abusive childhood. I was damaged as a child and subsequently told that I wasn’t very bright, and always told, “you can’t do this” and “you can’t do that”. When it came to education, I was told that I ‘wasn’t clever enough’ to go onto Further Education or University. And I believed these things … until now.

    I’m now 60 years old and only just beginning to live my life as I want to live it … and it’s great! I now have dreams and aspirations, and I’m starting to prove all those people from my childhood wrong. I’m studying at college currently, doing Psychology and Transactional Analysis. One of my dreams is to go on to study at University, and I hope I will do so one day … you’re never too old! I’m currently doing voluntary work at my local uni.

    Also, I’ve been in a wheelchair for about 16 years having been told by the medical profession that I wouldn’t be able to walk again, and yet here I am now, going to the gym regularly and training, getting fitter and stronger. My biggest aspiration now is to be able to walk again, even if it’s only a short distance. My trainer has faith in me, and boy, do I have the determination!

    Thanks for this post – it really got me thinking. Keep writing …

    Ellie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ellie,
      Thank you for sharing your personal story, I’m so glad you took the time to do so. This is my first attempt at blogging and I’m really pleased with your interest.
      I wholeheartedly agree that many of us do not have the love and support necessary at an early age. I was extremely fortunate to find this both at school and in the home from my parents. The reason I wanted to start this blog was to open the hearts and minds of people to the universal language of compassion we can extend to others daily.
      Your story is but one example of overcoming extremely negative hardships imposed upon you from very early on and how hope and possibility still exist. In spite of the lies falsely set upon your shoulders by others you have managed to free and transform yourself into a powerful individual. In more ways than one you’re already sprinting out of your chair well ahead of others who merely walk by physical appearance alone.
      It seems as if there is an endless supply of naysayers and dream-killers when what we really need is more people in the business of uplifting and urging others onward. My hope is that through these writings I somehow reach people I might otherwise never have the chance to meet.
      The plan is definitely to continue and shed some light into the darkness as much as possible. Thanks again.
      God Bless,

      Liked by 1 person

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