Friday, June 26, 2015


I cannot be blind to the momentous history happening today - the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the recognition of gay marriage throughout the United States.

Watching the coverage of the celebration in DC, Jim Obergefell spoke with the President and mentioned that his husband was not with him. That's the whole point of the case, actually; his husband died 20 months ago and Obergefell wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on the death certificate.

Many people have been told no at a government office before - getting a driver's license, applying for a housing permit or trying to get a license for a small business - for a host of reasons, which include controversial topics. That's not my point today, though.

Instead, it's the perseverance of the denied. Lots of people would try once or twice and give up, assuming continued failure. My husband reminded my daughter and me of that which separated the ordinary from the extraordinary - the invention of the lightbulb.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
Thomas A. Edison

My small inspiration was this morning during spin class. The regular instructor was interviewing a prospective teacher by having her do the first half of the hour class. Every teacher has a different style, playlist and drills.

I liked this one - she played Paradise City by Guns'n'Roses for one of the drills. It was a set of quick in-and-out-of-the-saddle intervals that were incredibly tough for me. When it ended, I was huffing and puffing. Since it was her last song of the "interview," she got down and started the mid-class water refill.

When she got to me, she said "You were awesome." I demurred, "I'm terrible at this." "No, you were doing really well and I could see that I was connecting with you and inspiring you. And I needed that, so that I could go on."

The smallest acts of perseverance can mean a lot, not just for you. Believe me, I'm not equating me challenging myself during spin class to solving societal problems. I am trying to use my little success to overcome that voice in my head saying I'm too weak and I won't make it, though.

When you want to give up, try once more. Whether you make a difference for one, or for many, like Jim Obergefell, a grieving widower, try just a little harder. You could make somebody's day, their week, or their lifetime.

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