I went for a walk along the river today near, where back in 2006, we shot the below commercial.
I look at that guy and remember him well. He was happy, had a successful business, employed quite a few people, had a good amount of money in the bank, was saving for retirement, had friends and an active social life.
You want in on a little secret? Not long before that video aired, an illness almost cost him his life. It is still hard to believe that illness, combined with his decision to remain in the race attempting to slay Goliath, would be the ruination of all that he was.
Back when he existed, he believed loyalty would be repaid in kind. He trusted others until he was given a reason to not trust. Most importantly, he thought people moved to action could actually make a difference. He also knew instead of hatefully trolling people on the internet – to make those changes happen, a person had to go out and work for those changes.
What did he do?
He put everything on hold and went out and ran for Congress. Even though, at the time, it would have been a considerable cut in income, he thought he could help make a better place for his generation, the one before him and the ones to follow.
Did he win?
He got his ass handed to him, but he put his money, and combined with that unforeseen and unexpected illness, what ended up being a good portion of his career, business and happiness, on the line to make that difference.
Was it worth it?
Some days no, some days yes – but I guess in the story that is his and my life – the yes days win out.
Because, unlike so many, instead of sitting on the sidelines, whining about what he thought was wrong, or about how to make things better – he went out, took action, actually did something and gave it his best shot.
That guy, the one who enjoyed life so very much, he is gone and will probably never return. The slings and arrows hurled his way by friend and foe alike, those which he thought were easily deflected – they, combined with the stress of the last few months, have exacted a burdensome toll.
As I look upon the highway which is life, I see the road in the rearview mirror is much longer than the one out the windshield, and the last few years have considerably shortened that which lies ahead. That guy in the video – he was a momentary success of the all encompassing failure that is me.
There is not much about my life of which I am proud, but running for Congress and serving in the Navy are two particulars of which I am not only proud, but honored to have given my all.
I guess that’s something.
At least I hope so.