Sunday, May 9, 2010
Brave New Legacy
There is a legacy of untold expanse within each of us. Our small, minute, seemingly routine actions can impact this world...and momentous decisions about the trajectory of our lives will affect untold, uncountable generations.
I remember hearing about generational curses when I was a child. The concept frightened my childlike perceptions of the things I can't outrun in life. It set in my mind that there are things that are fated...and are unavoidable. What I failed to understand as a little one, is that it takes ONE person in a family to stand up and shout..."No more"! It takes one person in a family to declare with absolute conviction..."I will choose to change my history...and in turn, I will change the future,for my children, and for generation upon generation".
The impact of one person defiant enough to face a crippling addiction...the bravery of one who faces past or present abuse...the heroism of one who puts themselves on the line for someone else, these are actions that crash head on into what seemed to be an inescapable future. The weight of these decisions mirrors a future where teenagers are worried about grades and the school dance...not where to get their next high...the weight of these decisions sets a parent into being mindful, conscious and aware of their childs innocence at every moment... the weight of these actions inspires someone to pay it forward to a stranger, in remembrance and honour of the one who did it for them prior.
Once upon a time...a man made a decision. He was a close confidante and sidekick to a famous mobster, and took on the name, "Easy Eddie". While he spent many years making money illegally, and was responsible for many crimes, both noted and suspected, Easy Eddie found himself at a crossroads when he realised just what kind of example he was providing for his young son. He calculated a decision to help the police compile evidence against the Boss...and was instrumental in his conviction for tax evasion in 1931. The mobster was Al Capone.
Easy Eddie was shot and killed one week before Capone's release from prison in 1939. This might be where you ask me how his hard decision altered the future. The son he chose to change for, the son he knew he could give everything to...except a good name, and a promising future, was Edward Joseph O'Hare. Edward Joseph O'Hare was a an exceptionally gifted Navy Fighter Pilot. In 1942, O'Hare saved countless hundreds of lives while defending the Lexington, an aircraft carrier stationed in Pearl Harbour. For this he received the Medal of Honour from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The medal validated the past decision of a father who wanted more for his son. A father who wanted his son to save lives, and to trademark bravery into their family history, instead of the shame of crime and dishonesty.
And if you should ever fly into Chicago, perhaps you will remember this story. Not for the memory of the mobster, but because the airport you will arrive at will be O'Hare International Airport.
One man changed history by making a conscious choice about his legacy. One step towards what is right, impacted the future.
A decision was made...faith was flung into the universe...and the future changed. The next time you know you need to make what seems to be an impossible decision, think of the glorious extension your legacy...I am confident that clarity will lead you to the right decision...not just the one that's easiest.