Pot of Gold
April 16, 2020
Even in the most difficult of challenges we can find our pot of gold.
I have spent most of my life chasing the infamous “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow, only to find the rainbow now on another horizon in the distance and no pot of gold. Even as a young child my family vacations for me were not about the road trip but rather getting to the destination. Not about the hike, the challenge or the scenery, but more about getting to the campsite so I could finally “be there.”
Not that goals of this sort shouldn’t be made or sought after, in fact they should be made and every effort provided to accomplish them, but discounting the effort along the way ignores the refining power of the process. Always focusing on the destination rather than the effort, challenge and ultimate journey can lead to discouragement and sometimes excessive worry, self-doubt and disappointment.
What I have found, in almost every journey I have set out on, is the process is anything but set-in- stone or scientific, but always has been worth the effort. What can go wrong will; and adapting, refocusing and staying committed to the goal and the process is what ultimately changes me or any person who experiences challenges which ultimately prepares you for next pot of gold. Conversely, failing to adapt or refocus shuts anyone of us down, keeping us from seeing the rainbow on the next horizon. In fact the gold the person, or in this case myself, is generally in search of is found not at the end of the rainbow, but in the process and journey along the way.
Over the past 10 years or so I have been dabbling in endurance sports and partaking in a few organized events that provide the ultimate challenge to would-be participants. Generally, at most of these types of gatherings there is a starting place and a finish line. (The goal is to cross the finish line, preferably while in a vertical position and under your own power). For those who make the goal comes the ultimate feeling of accomplishment and hopefully a medal, a t-shirt, a few blisters and some bragging rights to family and friends.
What I have found to be true for myself and most everyone else who participates in these types of events is, the goal was only accomplished because of the work and effort the athlete put in prior to the event and along the journey to the finish line. The sweat, tears, sacrifice and dedication to the goal is what propelled the participant over the finish line and prepares them or me for that matter, for the next adventure or “pot of gold.” It is the process then that is more important to the participant than the actual event, however without the event the need to train, sweat and sacrifice would not be necessary.
Currently in our fight with COVID -19 we have a common goal as a nation to end COVID-19, “The Finish Line.” In that goal, we have a process, and in that process an opportunity to refine ourselves, our families, our politics and our faith in each other. The hope is to come out of this event stronger and more prepared for the next event, which will certainly happen at some point in the future.
We now have an opportunity to come together to find common ground and nuggets of gold along the way. We can rise or fall depending on how we choose to view our cups. Half full or half empty? Sure we will always have our differences, but we are at a defining moment in this chapter of our history. We can point the finger of blame or look at this as an opportunity to move forward and come out stronger in our communities, focusing our efforts on becoming healthier as a nation, unified as a country and more convicted in our common purposes and goals. In the words of John Quincy Adams, “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
I would suggest that a pot of gold can be found for each one of us as we rise to the challenges set before us by COVID- 19. Find time to spend with your families, become a better neighbor, resolve a personal conflict, give to those in need and learn to be grateful for what you have. Eat better, exercise more, read a book or two, and instead of focusing on who’s at fault for this or who to blame for that, focus on the good work being done by our store clerks, our truck drivers, our medical professionals, our farmers, our first responders, our parents and grandparents, our children’s teachers, our clergy and counselors, our construction workers, our engineers, our military men and women and all the other essential people in our lives…….they really are the pot of gold along the way to the end of the rainbow.
Sheriff Whitman County