Friday, October 01, 2010

The Participatory Prerogative

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat" 
--Theodore Roosevelt

Moments to volunteer with raised hand come and go. There have been times when I've raised my hand at the request for a volunteer and times when I haven't.  Those opportunities either prosper or perish. It is interesting to look back upon the times that I have volunteered to make a statement, make an estimate, or make a fun-loving fool of myself. Not once have I said, "Oh, I wish I would've just shut my mouth or remained partners with my seat in the corner." Not once have I thought, "Dang, I shouldn't have given my buddy a ride or helped mom with the dishes." We get more than we give. It's a strong equation. 

This morning my accounting professor asked for a volunteer to put up the solution to a problem we had worked on in class. I had the numbers and I was ready. My hand was raised. I went to the front of the room with my notes, grabbed the dry-erase marker, and promptly forgot any morsel of how I had gotten my answers. Great. Yet, with the promptings of my professor help was offered. Problem solved--eventually. My voluntary performance was less than stellar but I wasn't bothered in the least by it. This is why: I was up and doing rather than down and stewing. 

There is great power in participation. It is powerful beyond the chapter's theory or the current methods. The key lies in the question: can one put the theory into practice and make it live? It begins with action followed by heightened understanding. 

Yes, there will be failure but we must use that for better tomorrows. After this morning's accounting encounter, I am a lot more familiar with contribution margin income statements than I was while sitting in the background. Any man can hear and see, many can come to know, but find a man (or woman) who can apply and do and he will be a victor. 

So, with Mr. Roosevelt's reminder, let us remember that we are not meant to dwell among the "poor spirits" as we do mighty things. We are built to triumph over suffering and "enjoy much" and gray is not our color! 

Stay the Course

1 comment:

Tami said...

One word.... AWESOME!!!!