We’re bombarded by life coaches and memes and bumper stickers – not to mention athletic shoe and sports drink commercials – to DO things. We can feel a little bit “less” when we decline almost any adventure. Are we cowards? Are we just boring people? Well, perhaps, in some cases, we’re just irrationally afraid to try something different or we’re in a bit of a rut and don’t feel the energy to get out of it.
Sometimes, though, it is absolutely the best, smartest, and bravest thing to NOT DO.
I do not care whether or not his politics make sense, his record is worthy, or his history is respectable; today, Vice President Biden made a brave and right choice to NOT DO – to not enter the Democratic primary – in the face of massive pressure from many sources, including the expressed wish of the son he just lost.
When faced with overwhelming exhortations to do something, small or large, it takes a lot of backbone to not simply bend to the will of the crowd. We can hear encouragement and praise as charges – demands to excel, to perform, to DO – when all they really are meant to do is show how much we are admired, loved, trusted for who we already are.
Mr. Biden, I respect your courage and grit for being able to examine your heart and to hear your son’s words, not as an order to execute, but as the most succinct way for him to tell you what kind of man is his father. Your entire family, including Beau, must be very proud of you, sir.
It’s good to be challenged. It’s good to set and chase goals and dreams. It’s only good, though, when you can honestly say that they are your challenges and dreams. Challenge your reasons for accepting or rejecting the challenges laid down by others. You’ll reach the right goals faster, if you’re not sidetracked, chasing someone else’s idea of what you should do.