Out Of The Way

Friday 11 May 2007 @ 4:34 am

Last weekend my amazing daughter Nawang Sera became the first person ever in her family to graduate from college. Nawang is a Sherpa from Nepal who grew up in the small village of Khumjung which is a high village in the Himalayas just above 13,000 feet. Nawang came to live with us at the age of 15 with English being her 4th language. The past six years I have watched with great joy and tenderness as I have observed Nawang face life’s challenges head on. She always is positive, builds others, and has a determination that amazes me. Everywhere she goes she is a bit of sunshine.

Last Saturday as we sat in the commencement exercises at Snow College. The event had all the usual trappings of a real yawner. From my experience most commencement speakers blather on about notably boring nothing. I slipped into a mentally neutral position waiting for the long ceremony to conclude. I was not prepared to actually be awoken from my thoughtless slumber. The commencement speaker was an individual named Pamela Atkinson. Pamela was a feisty British woman who declared herself as a “Community Advocate”. As I listened to her introduction I sat up and took notice. She was referred to as the “Mother Theresa of Utah”. She had basically spent the majority of her life attempting to help the underprivileged focusing on the homeless. As she addressed the audience she told of her upbringing in England where she was raised in a poor family where her father left their family when she was young. She stated that she had been abused as child and had determined the only way out was education. She challenged not only the graduates, but also the audience to make a Difference in life. She went on to cite multiple examples of how small unseeingly important acts made all the difference.

As Ms. Atkinson proclaimed her personal mantra those of you saying it can not be done, get out of the way of those of us who are doing it I could not help but reflect on Nawang and her amazing story.

Nawang’s education goal is to become a Registered Nurse and gain acceptance into one of the local nursing schools that is rather difficult to gain admission. Although I have always been a believer in Nawang, at times I am often too quick to point out that the path she is perusing is difficult.

I found myself reflecting, how often am I the one “standing in the way of those who are doing it”? I resolved that from this point forward that I would not only encourage, but also believe in and fully subscribe to the dreams of not only Nawang, but also my sons, and other loved ones.

I have always loved the statement that imagination rules the world. Let’s not only get out of the way of the individuals doing great things, but let’s go stand by them and help them dream the dream and live the reality.

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Rich Christiansen