And the creator of those waves is judged by society as being different from what is considered the norm. The primary reason for this is he/she has created another obstacle through which the average man must laboriously stumble. But, there never has been an outstanding individual who wasn’t viewed as different from the norm. And generally that outstanding individual influences the direction of many lives.
The individual who has dramatically influenced my life is Teddy Roosevelt. During his life, he was looked upon as a lousy businessman, a loner in general in that he would go into the badlands of North Dakota for several weeks by himself and gave a disproportionate amount of his ranch to his ranch hands. He also was considered a poor politician.
On at least two occasions he was confronted with his death and had he not been physically fit he would have succumbed to the grim reaper. When he was but a youth, his father demanded that he exercise on a regular basis to overcome his severe asthmatic condition. He did strenuous exercise to overcome this malady. And his extreme physical fitness carried over into his adult life. Two of his most famous quotations attracted me to the man. “Everyone who resides in this great country of ours is able to share in her abundant freedoms. In return we must show her our true allegiance. Both full and faithful,” and, “Heredity is important, yet anyone living in this country and showing their allegiance to another country, is living in the wrong place.”
While John F. Kennedy was the youngest to be elected president, Teddy was the youngest to occupy the office. He went from the “rough riders” to Governor of New York to the vice-presidency of the United States. When McKinley was assassinated, Teddy Roosevelt inherited the job of president. At the time he assumed the responsibilities of that office he was only forty-two. As president he made several significant decisions from the Boer War to choosing the location of the Panama Canal. And that my friends was not an insignificant decision, as many members of Congress and the electorate preferred Nicaragua as the optimum route for the canal. A close vote in the Senate settled the route.
The Panama Canal is listed among the modern wonders of the world as a magnificent engineering feat. In the process of performing his tasks as president, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was the first sitting president to be awarded this prestigious compliment.
His accomplishments and failures have greatly influenced my life. Why should I bring out failures? Simply because a sum total of his failures contributed to his accomplishments. Teddy was smart enough to learn from his failures, which sadly I must say, is also greatly different from the norm.
What is considered the “normal individual” is scared to death of making a mistake. Or being considered a failure at his attempt of being a success. Generally, his unrealized greatness will not shine upon many people. Many times in my life I have grasped for veracity, when my soul knew what was truthful. The truth is generally most uncomfortable, whereas rationalization can be so comfortable that you can peacefully go to sleep.
For guidance with application of that truth I look to Teddy Roosevelt on the human level and God on the spiritual level. And that my friends is what making waves is about.