Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Uncommon Man

I had originally started this blog to begin promoting a memoir that I plan to write about a turbulent few years in my life.  My writing journey has taken a different direction for now,  however and I am thrilled with the project at my fingertips. 

My grandfather is turning 80 years old this October.  My brother, Lee and I decided to approach him about sharing some of his life stories and wisdom with us so we can gather it all together into a biography and share it with future generations to come.  We conducted our first interview on Sunday morning and I think we are onto something great.

Grandpa has made a habit throughout his life of memorizing certain poems, excerpts from books or any other writing that really resonates with him.  He recited the following poem word for word perfect while we talked to him and I thought I would share it here.  It has really resonated with me as well.  I hope you enjoy it.

The Uncommon Man (by Dean Alfange, born December 2nd,  1899)

I Do Not Choose To Be A Common Man

It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.

I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”

These are strong words and to be honest, I do not believe them to be true in my own life.  Maybe, however, if you keep working on it, keep saying it over and over again, you begin to believe it and the evidence of it begins to come out in your own life.  We really do become what we habitually think about.

How about you?

Do you believe the saying that we become what we think about?  Has that come true in your own life?

1 comment:

  1. Aaron,
    Thank you for sharing this powerful poem and this poignant glimpse of your amazing Grandpa. What a gift to have him in your life and be able to help him share his story. Indeed you have an important mission here.

    Blessings on your journey!