There are three kinds of folks:
- those that make things happen
- those that watch what happens
- and those who wonder what happened
Here are three stories that motivated me and called me to action.
Growing up in Grainola my dad got a lot of calls to help folks but as I turned about 12 I remember helping my dad do some work for Mr. Fulsom. After that day Mr. Fulsom would just call me and ask me to come and fix what ever he needed. I also remember that the Shumates and Snyders as in Beth Shumate (Sally and Janie's mom) and Gladys Snyder (Bill and Susie's mom) when they had problems with their sewer Dad volunteered me to go fix it. I am telling you that is one nasty job. Sometimes I would have to get a tank and pump and remove all the waste from the sewer tanks and other times I would have to dig up the old clay pipes and repair them. The pipe repair was the worst. I remember after each time Mom would ask me, "are you going to be a honey dipper or go to college?". I would always tell her I was going to college. I should explain a honey dipper was a person who repaired sewers. I believe this is how my Mom motivated me to take action and prepare for college.
The second thing that was a big motivator to me was when I had to dig a ditch about 60 feet long across a gravel road. It was heavily packed and had a lot of hard rock to bust with a sledge hammer and pick ax. It was during the summer and very hot at the time. Mom would deliver tea to me often and ask me, "are you going to college or be a ditch digger?". She would walk away with a smile and light hearted laugh knowing she was again calling me to action.
The last story is about an older couple who called and asked to talk to me. They shared the fact that their only son was about 50 years old and they were in their 80's and that they were concerned about who and how their son would be taken care of when they were gone. You see their son was disabled and would need someone to watch over him and his finances if they were gone. Then they also shared that they both had cancer. I have to tell you my heart and my eyes swelled as I could not imagine the pressure on those parents even though I have a son who is also disabled with down syndrome.
It is stories like this that brought a few couples in Edmond, Oklahoma to start a 501(c)3 named Wings (www.wingsok.org) to help families with disabled children. The mission became much larger and today it is housed north of Memorial Road on Boulevard in Edmond to facilitate a higher quality of life where these folks can thrive and have meaningful work plus ultimately provide housing in a safe environment. The stories we heard by so many families drove us to action.
So what do you learn in the Osage?
- Don't be satisfied by doing less than your full potential
- Use those call to action moments in your life to motivate you to do more
- Helping others is more rewarding to your own soul than it is to others
Thanks for your time,