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Gimme a Break

May 10, 2018

Over the past several weeks, I have been involved in conversations about getting a “break” that allows or helps people to achieve something. This includes having an unexpected positive circumstance happen for you; somebody doing or giving you something that affects you positively; or, through your own efforts, a positive event happens for you. These are all instances in which we feel we received a “break."

Often a “break” happens by being in the right place at the right time. I remember listening to a very talented musician, who was very good at his craft. Someone asked him what the difference was between him and those musicians who have made it big, and he said being in the right place at the right time. Is someone who can influence their career in the audience listening to them? That is the “break” some musicians get and others don’t.

Another conversation about “breaks” occurred when I was visiting with some high-achieving high school students. Although we spoke about getting the “break” that could get them into a preferred college and land that first job, we also spoke how oftentimes “breaks” are earned through hard work and effort. That being in the right place at the right time is often by design. A student who works hard in school, volunteers or has a part-time job often gets in a position to receive what is thought of as a “break” but is really just a matter of hard work getting them to that place and time. Kids of this age group tend to think things happen by chance and not due to hard work and paying attention to detail.

Probably my most satisfying story of getting a “break” occurred when friends of mine recently adopted a baby. Although they have two healthy and thriving children, they decided to add to their family through adoption. Having gone through the process, they were selected to adopt a baby who was more than likely to be born into a troubled and disadvantaged situation. What a “break” that baby received! He was adopted by a model family with two older siblings and lifelong access to activities and amenities he more than likely never would have experienced otherwise. This baby boy got the biggest “break” he will ever experience, and he doesn’t know it and may never fully understand it. (I think I’ll tell him.)

I do believe some people get lucky “breaks," while others get “breaks” through hard work and paying attention to detail. We have to choose our path.

Thanks to all of you for the hard work you do every day and the “breaks” you provide to others.