When you want to measure the true value of a journey, you need to know how far you’ve come and what you’ve learned along the way.
That’s just my opinion, not something I read in a fortune cookie.
Heck, my whole speaking career is based upon that simple definition.
My life’s map is dotted with lines, smiley faces, sad faces and every emotion in between.
It’s been punctuated by the sweetest victories and humbling defeats…and I appreciate them all for what they’ve helped me learn.
I must admit I was a bit concerned when actor Mark Wahlberg asked the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to pardon him for a brutal racially-motivated assault (one of several, actually) he committed during his turbulent teen years.
Having that on his record is going to make it difficult to expand his family’s restaurant chain and may keep him out of any law enforcement endeavors.
I’ll be honest: I’ve got nothing against the guy. I enjoy his movies and he’s got a ton of talent…but I’m just not understanding why he should get special privilege when so many regular everyday people have to live with their pasts.
He’s riding the highest of highs, which he was able to do, despite living through some pretty low years.
He says that he can help inspire others to turn their lives around and achieve success.
In my opinion, he doesn’t deserve a pardon.
He should live with where he came from, what he did, and his journey to redemption.
He can regret the person that he used to be, but that doesn’t give him the right to erase that person from the legal archives.
If nothing else, his dotted lines have shown how far you can stray off the path and still come back and find your treasure.
Removing the dirtiest legs of the journey, for me, actually takes away from the richness of the reward that comes with redemption and ‘making it’.
Not everyone can waltz into their state offices and ask the judicial system to break out the Etch-A-Sketch for a good shake.
I believe we all need to understand that whatever we’ve done in the past is part of our life that WE created.
We cannot make it disappear, we can only make it better.
Got something in your past you’d rather not remember?
Acknowledge that you did it, and don’t do it again.
Let people who are currently dealing with those dim, dark days know that you’ve been there too…and that they can come back from it, just like you did.
Your life’s lowest points are not parking tickets that can magically disappear.
Nor should they be.
They are teaching moments, and you are the professor.
What are YOU teaching the world today?