Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Once in a lifetime… if you’re lucky


Bobby Hyman - The Original Traveling Animal

Bobby Hyman - The Original Traveling Animal

Over a decade ago, I had the opportunity to listen and observe a young man give an acceptance speech after he was recognized by the Jaycees for a lifetime’s work.  I choose my words deliberately when I say this young man had already completed a life’s work because shortly after his motivating speech to his audience, he passed away. 



He was in his late forties at the time when his heart just gave out.  Many of us who were close to him wondered how the Lord could call someone home who still had so much more to give.  While I may never fully realize the answer to that question, I will never forget the words that still resonate with me today.  Once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky,” he said with a pause.  “God gives you the chance to change the face of your community and leave it a better place than it was when you found it.”


Recently I was asked by a new Chamber member what I did.  I told them I was the President of the Chamber.  The member looked at me quizzingly, and asked again, “Yea, I know.   But what do you do as a profession?”  Actually, the member did not know I was employed by the Chamber.  He assumed I was a volunteer.  I smiled at him, knowing what he meant, and replied, “I’m a builder.”  I walked away, perhaps leaving him convinced I was in construction.


However I left that conversation, I felt in my heart I had answered him fully.  I’m a really lucky guy.  Each day I go into work knowing full well I help build something.  I help build a better organization.  I help build a better economy for our businesses.  I help build a better community.  The bottom line is each day I have the opportunity to leave my region better than I found it.


It’s inspiring each day to see individuals in the community working together to solve community challenges.  Just today I had the opportunity to feel the energy of citizens preparing to shape the vision for their downtown in Huntersville.    Every day our Chamber members volunteer their time and talent to make our region a great place to do business and a wonderful community to live for our residents.  Our civic clubs, churches, and non-profits are working together to improve the lives of those who need a helping hand.  animals


As long as I live I will remember the young man, fighting back tears of joy, as he stood before his peers.  In a short time he had touched a lot of hearts and left his community better than he found it.  It’s an opportunity the Good Lord gives each of us.  Once in a lifetime…if you’re lucky.


March 13, 2009 - Posted by | Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) | , , ,

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