Be a Kite

“Just like you need air to fly a kite, it’s not the kite, it’s the AIR.” 

Music producer and “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams said that during a recent “CBS Sunday Morning” interview. Williams was explaining how the most tragic stories are of people who start to believe their own press clippings, “these gifted people who start to believe it’s all them.”

Indeed, we’re responsible for studying hard, positioning ourselves and being prepared. But doing all those things then becoming successful sometimes leaves us with the illusion that the success was entirely of our own making. Nothing could be further from truth.

Those fortunate enough to reach higher heights climb up on the backs of others who blazed the path before. They’re pushed from the arms of loving mothers who release their embraces just long enough for a child to run through the forest and seek what’s his. They’re carried on the shoulders of teachers and coaches who see some glimmer or spark hidden behind a grimy, mud-speckled face. They’re hoisted up by the sinewy arms of mentors who recognize that special thing that distinguishes you among the pack.

Parents, instructors, advisers, clergy and encouraging loved ones are the air that lifts your kite. Without them, you fly no higher than the grass whose deep roots deprive it of ever knowing what it’s like to float among the clouds.

They’re also like the child running through the field below, connected to you by a thin string — unable to fly for themselves, nevertheless flying vicariously through you. Your flight eternally is theirs.

Your kite experience is not your own. It’s a privilege you share with the people who placed you in the sky and watch you from earth with childlike wonder.

(c) Copyright 2014, Jonathan Clarke All rights reserved

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