Roughly two weeks ago, I spoke to a group of young men ages 16-18 about heroes. During that discussion I shared that one of my heroes is Gandalf, the grizzled wizard from J.R.R. Tolkein’s epic “Lord of the Rings.” Much has transpired in the two weeks since, and Gandalf’s counsel in the exchange below rings as a gem of timely wisdom:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
There is a great freedom and calm that comes from making the moment to moment choices to do what we can and let go of what we cannot. Currently, it is easy to feel a great need to know what in the wide world is going on. No doubt to be informed is prudent. But if we are not mindful and slip into a habit of updating ourselves every 10 minutes, we can quickly become paralyzed with a sense of powerlessness.
The truth is, you and I always have a choice to act in ways that are beneficial to ourselves and others. Yes, it takes courage – perhaps a little extra right now, but it’s worth mustering. Muster that courage. Decide what you can do now. Be a Cribbage or a Kick Ball Hero. Move those around you to a day of activity they will remember for years to come. Deny fear the chance to rob you of living a meaningful day with his counterfeit offer of petrified non-doing. If you will, I promise you will experience a calm and clarity that many are finding elusive right now. And from that space you can be a blessing to those around you, wherever you are.