Riding the Elevator

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It is 7:30 in the morning at the time I am writing this. The house is quiet, except for the chirping birds outside. I am sitting in the backyard, having my morning coffee, and thinking about how people get by in their lives financially. How do some people even do it? How do some find the motivation? I am faced with the reality that there are so many people who work so incredibly hard just to scrape by.

Although I have my own struggles with trying to keep up with everything; raising a family, being a good father, being a good husband, being a good employee, it really soaks in just how lucky I am to have what I have and to be where I am. Many times, I will admit, I take things for granted.

In the past few years, I am lucky enough to have my life change drastically. Not everything is all peaches and cream though, there are many struggles I face. However the struggles today are very different from the struggles I had only 5 years ago. I know that many people in our world do not have the opportunities I had. Many people never find the chance to ever get ahead. In our ever-growing population and overcrowding of cities, our economy is not keeping up.

Something that has been on my mind recently is how do we as a society change this? How do we create more opportunities? How do we create a world where dreams do not only have to be dreams, but reality? This answer is different for everyone. For me, the answer is to help wherever I can help. Whether that means spending my time helping others, calling a friend just to say hi, donating items and time to a good cause or maybe even just typing these words and sharing my journey and thoughts.

Kevin Spacey once said “If you’re lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” To me this is a very powerful quote. I believe that if people can do this, we can slowly improve this world. On the other hand, why can’t we work together on the way up? If I am lucky enough to do well, how many peoples’ hands can I grab to take them with me on the way up? How many people are out there that can and would be willing to take my hand and take me with them?

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The ride on life’s elevator is not always a direct route. Sometimes you get off on one floor, stay there for a while, and get back on the elevator just to realize it is headed back down. That’s ok though, that’s how we gain experience and learn from our past. I am curious about where this elevator is going to take me. Although I have a plan, have goals and know where I want to end up, that doesn’t mean that I will get there when and how I want to. It is only something to strive for.

I am very thankful for what I have and where I am. I certainly did not get here by myself. The only reason I am here is because others have, at one point, sent the elevator back down and have reached out their arms to grab mine. Now that I have stepped on, I would of course like to work my way up. But more importantly, how many others can I pull in along the way?

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7 thoughts on “Riding the Elevator

  1. Steveark

    I spent a week in Costa Rica at a beautiful fishing resort in a rain forest that was completely isolated from most other civilization. The village next door was populated by relatively poor people by USA standards. They worked as fishing guides and in the resort preparing food and doing maid service. It struck me how they seemed happier than the rich American guests. They were generous and seemed to have no worries for the future. If they had enough for that one day they were content. In contrast it appeared to me that we rich guests were spending a fortune to find something exotic enough to stimulate ourselves out of boredom. It was a good lesson, a life worth living is about more than money.

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    1. Experiencing something like this certainly puts things in perspective. I agree that a life worth living is about more than just money. My personal elevator ride is more about having a positive impact on other people’s lives. Yes, money can get you places, but it is certainly not everything. It is amazing to me all the riches we see everyday, right in front of our faces. They blend in because it is our “normal”. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. AdventureRich

    I had a mentor at work once tell me that the same people you see on the way up are the ones you will see on the way down. Basically, she wanted me to be mindful of others all along the way, treating everyone with respect and helping those I could help. I really like the elevator analogy as well. Taking the time to give back to others and help them to achieve their full potential can be time consuming, but it is so important because, like you said, we all get to where we are with the help of others.

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  3. Pingback: Moving Forward – Defeating Normal

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