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Shot Of The Day

Leading by Standing Still?

Leading by Standing Still?

In the corner of an old building, long forgotten by the owner, stood a pair of black patent leather pumps. Who wore them? Where had they traveled? Why were they there? How long had they been frozen in that position? The blanket of dust was so thick that I almost didn’t notice them on the glass table. It was as if snow had infiltrated the Atlanta roof in July and merged the table top and the shoes into one uniform piece. One unit. One big white blob. I lifted the shoe on the right to check out the size, but got much more than a quenched curiosity. I got this. A footprint. A crisp black footprint. A mark. A stark mark. How many times have I heard that phrase “make your mark!” “What’s your mark?” “What impression will you leave behind?” And there it was. A little ray of light on a piece of that puzzling question — what impression do you leave when you stand still or do nothing? A mighty big one it turns out! It can be deep and pronounced. It can be just as influential as the mark left by passion and action and digging in and following a calling or a gift or a dream. How many times have I waited? For the perfect moment? For the fear to go away? For enough training, education, preparation, you name it? How many times have I let time and circumstances make decisions for me? How many times have I done nothing and realized that the world rushed in around me and filled the void left by my stillness? And what kind of a mark did I leave by my inaction? On my son? On my family? On myself? What gift lies fallow merged into the ground beneath your feet? What secondary substitute will the world provide to fill the vacuum caused by your pause? Yes, I think you certainly can lead by standing still, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the type of mark we want to leave behind. Not me, anyway. You?

Posted: 25 October 2008