April 26, 2011

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are good enough, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."

-Howard Aiken

I've been feeling frustrated recently. Thwarted. Stifled. Suffocated even.

Do you ever feel like you're sort of destined for greatness? Gosh, this makes me sound so conceited to say this, but just know that I don't mean it the way it sounds when I say that I do. But, really, do you ever feel like you have a specific purpose you should be striving to fulfill during this life? Or maybe not a specific one, but you at least have a feeling you were meant to do something certain? I have always had this nagging feeling that my energy is supposed to be filtered into a place I haven't found yet.

I asked my dad the other day if he thinks that's a feeling everyone has. Something to keep each of us going, waking up each morning. He said he has no way of knowing but that he knows he has always felt that way, too. So we decided that we believe everyone must feel that way, or at least that we hope everyone does.

I've always felt that my purpose is to find a way to help other people realize their potential. Maybe it's just a case of "those who can't do, teach," but I honestly feel like that's what I'm supposed to do. I feel like I would finally pave my path in life by helping other people pave theirs. Recently, I've had the chance to help my dad create his.

Basically, he has this incredible gift he wants to give the world. It's not breathtaking or dressed up in a hip package, but, when the idea is left to settle in your mind, you realize exactly how important and urgent it is.

I've been helping him plan it out and refine it. I've been brainstorming, calling him on my lunch breaks so we can give each other updates, and feeling the pain and frustration of rejection with him each step of the way. He is brilliant, honest, hardworking. He has a vision, he has faith in this incredible thing he has created, and he has a strong conviction that the right people will eventually see it for what it truly is: revolutionary.

It's understandable. People are afraid of what they don't know or haven't tried before. My dad can present his plan that has an unthinkably high level of reward for everyone involved, yet the people he has shared it with have turned a blind eye for fear of failure and the unknown. I get it though. They don't know him like I do. They don't know that he's not a salesman, that's he's genuine, that they are lucky to have met him. I do though.

When my dad was in his twenties, he saw a psychic perform at a show. I know there's a lot of skepticism surrounding that kind of thing, but this guy was for real. He was respectable. My dad was chosen to come on stage. This man proceeded to tell my dark-haired, dark-eyed father that he had a red-headed brother, which he most definitely does; that his father, who had been hit with a shrapnel bomb in World War II, had all kinds of metal in his leg; and that he wouldn't marry the first one but the second one. Now that last one may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy since he had been engaged once before meeting my mom several years later. However, if they hadn't broken up, I wouldn't be writing this...and you wouldn't be reading it. The last thing that this man, this seer of the unseen, told my father was that he would be rich.

Rich? "RICH"? How incredibly, cruelly vague. Rich with money? Rich with love? Rich with passion? My father already had a burning in his belly to make something of himself in this world, and now this man had to go and validate that feeling with a promise of being "rich." Well, I'll tell you what. My dad has been working on something that would not only help him retire comfortably but also enrich the world in a way that would be more satisfying to him than having all the money you can imagine.

Maybe people will start to listen. Maybe his dream will become a reality. Or maybe he and I have already found richness in our relationship as teammates. No matter what happens, I will always be grateful that I've had the opportunity to get to know my dad in a different light and realize what a truly amazing man he is. Even if "the right people" never do.

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