Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain
I love quotes like this. There is just something about them that fires our imagination, stirs our spirit, and makes us think.
They stir our optimism, make us want to take on the world, strive for the positive, and challenge us to question the negatives that are all too easy to point out.
Deep down we all want to believe the possibility that exists out there for us to succeed, against all the odds we seem to be facing. Even though it’s raining… can we learn to dance?
Many of the greatest quotes came from great people, from stories that originated in a protest against adversity. They were forged in a furnace of defiance… where the alternatives to success would never be accepted. They were born of the do or die spirit that has always preceded victory. Many of their legacies still have a positive impact on our lives today. Let’s look at two of them.
On April 12, 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly in space; this panicked America with fears that as a nation they were being left behind in a technological competition with the Soviet Union.
43 days later on May 25, 1961, President John F Kennedy announced his support for the Apollo space program as part of a special address to a joint session of Congress. Here’s what he said in his stirring address to congress;
First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind or more important in the long range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.
– John F Kennedy
It was a decision prompted out of fear, the fear that America would be left behind in the space race. He challenged America to “learn to dance in the rain” in the face of adversity. All of our modern communications are only possible as a result of NASA conquering the dream of space flight.
Two years later in August 1963 another Dream was verbalized that would also challenge and change the world. Deep in the middle of the crisis that was “The March to Washington for Jobs and Freedom” there was a defining moment in the American Civil Rights movement. On the steps of the Lincoln memorial in Washington DC, Dr Martin Luther King spoke from the heart to 250,000 people in the civil rights movement. His “I have a Dream” speech still has power today;
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”
“This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together.
– Dr Martin Luther King
He also challenged America to “learn to dance in the rain” in the face of adversity. Barack Obama holds the office of President of America as a result of the changes brought about by one man having the courage to “dance in the rain”.
So my friends, what will the year ahead hold for us? Will we still face adversity from the economic fall out of last year… I think so!
Will we still continue to see reductions in government spending and increases in taxes as they try to fix the mess they allowed to happen… I think so!
But that’s not really the question…is it?
The question is… Even though we may miss a beat or two… even though we may miss a step or two… Who wants to learn to dance in the rain?… c’mon it’ll be fun!