I recently found myself engaged in yet another lively email repartee with Mary Guthrie. she often entertains me with the unusual dialogue realized within her own household.
recently, she told me that she liked an email that I wrote because:
“Your fierce response, I suppose. The “Brian-ness” of it.”
…I like the word “fierce”. I also like the the descriptive term, “fierce determination”.
meanwhile… the fact that I (fiercely?) adore my own daughters is no secret, to be sure. but, I readily admit being possessed of a soft-spot for Mary and two of her girls, Claire and Grace, in particular. Mary and I both grew up in families led by Air Force Officers. both our Dads retired as full Colonels. so, like many kids of our generation that grew up in-and-amongst Officers Clubs, we speak a similar language and likely see the world along the same moral codes.
that reminds me… about a week ago, I received a text message from Mary keeping me in the loop with Claire and Grace’s SAT testing. I had written recommendations for both with an effort towards a special and advanced education program. Haley Anne will be dealing with that soon enough (the SAT’s, anyway). so, I’m in that zone, kind of. my iPhone was on the counter in the kitchen when it buzzed to life. Joanne often alerts me if a client is calling or texting me (I won’t use email on my cellular device, that’s a whole other story). she mused: “you text with Mary Guthrie more than you do with me”.
well… I text with A LOT of people more than I do with Joanne. when I think about it, I actually talk to other people A LOT more than I do Joanne.
but, I watch Glee with Joanne. and, with dutiful “fierce determination”.
in any event, getting back to that email exchange with Mary… we discussed my role in the lives of Claire and Grace as a soccer coach – and, I think as a warrior-philosopher if I were to see it Grace’s way (well… that would likely be how I want to be viewed, but Grace probably gets it). but, that said, I think Mary likely offers me too much credit.
I simply recognize Grace as a unique person (kid or not) that “get’s it”. I’m trained to do this. and, the ability – and it’s benefits have been honed through nearly thirty years of business acumen, and life. going back to the age of twelve, I’ve always had a business, or been in business. and, I engage people at a level that unnerve many – and, delight the greater minority.
with people like Grace, for example, I’m thinking that many that meet her, and observe her, are probably dealing with a sense of mediocrity (by comparison) in the presence of a genuinely happy (fiercely blithe?) soul and leader. that is always a lonely path.
but, I think God balances the loneliness with a sense of self and purpose.
see… I am trying to describe myself. so, hopefully I get to be compared to terrific people like Grace, one day.
I am a leader; both by will and result. And, I am often referred to as “uncommon”.
I’ve been pushing myself very hard lately. I am trying to get fit after “the accident”, and I’m deeply involved with a number of companies doing some truly amazing things. a lot hangs in the balance and the sustained level of concentration is grueling and intense. but, I gave myself a break from work yesterday so I could go for a mid-afternoon ride. that went okay… but, when I got home there was an email from a client and friend with a line that reads:
“You are a great inspiration to a large diverse group of humans, and you still have a lot to reach!”
you can bet that made me feel good. and, great about myself. and further fueled my “fierce determination”. in fact, I went and did an extra one hundred push-ups, and went looking for Emma Jo just so I could give her a hug. she was both unimpressed and disgusted because I was hot and sweaty.
but, I felt great.
so, I’m drawn to and inspired by those that can standout and may be referred to as uncommon. NOTE: if you could read the emails I get from Mary you might recognize from whence Claire and Grace realize their own greatly evident wit, poise and emerging perspective. I always enjoy reading things Mary writes more than any Emmy winning television I could hope to watch.
I am viewed as a leader. possibly an uncommon one. but, I can learn from Mary’s example. this is vitally important to a father of two daughters. both very different types of people, and each possessed with unique qualities and traits that I know will serve them well and likely a great many others.
I sure hope Haley Anne and Emma Jo always have friends like Claire and Grace. and, I pray people will find reason to say that about Haley Anne and Emma Jo. this means I have to maintain my “fierce determination” to stand out by trying harder, and being better as a form of example.
in any event, I don’t mean to make this about me. however, I do intend to send a purposeful message, here.
it’s not about us; it’s about what we do. and, Grace evidently has the tools to do great and possibly wonderful things. that already sets her apart, and she is coming into an understanding of that. I can see that as her erstwhile soccer coach, and hopefully a friend and ally for life.
oh well done, Mary. says I.
peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
brian patrick cork