Boston Strong. Image from

Boston Strong. Image from

I’ve always had a lot of affection for the city of Boston.

Since I was a child, I have been a fan of the Boston Celtics as Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish led them to multiple championships in the 1980′s.

It’s a beautiful city and is one place that I would love to visit one day, but my heart was lifted even more when I watched the city respond with such resilience in the lead-up to the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

To see the way the Boston Red Sox organisation and fans honoured the survivors of this tragedy was wonderful.

To see runners from all over the world determined not to be kept away from Boston by fear is magnificent.

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In his iconic western, High Plains Drifter, Clint Eastwood’s character chastises the town of Lago with these words:

“You don’t want your shops or houses burned.

You don’t want your women touched.

You don’t want anything to happen.

Except you’re afraid to do anything about it.”

Sound familiar?

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crossIn the lead-up to Easter, our resident theologian, 6 year-old Madison, asked me, “Why is it called Good Friday?”

She has a point.

It was on that day that Jesus went through his sham of a trial.

That’s not good.

It was on that day that Jesus was betrayed and abandoned by those who had previously followed him.

There’s nothing good about that.

It was on that day that Jesus was mocked and beaten and had a crown of thorns pushed down on his head.

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There are people who consistently perform at a phenomenal level.

The standard that they have established for themselves over the years is one of excellence and they are recognised and respected for their professionalism and brilliance.

Of course, every now and then, they make a mistake or momentarily drop their standard, but those who know them understand that this is just an exception to their usual standard.

Then there are those who perform at a much lower level.

They aren’t renowned for anything other than average, they don’t try particularly hard and no-one expects anything remarkable from them.

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Doing good deeds can be a messy business; far messier than seems necessary.

Some people won’t appreciate your kindness.

Some people will be oblivious to your efforts and not even notice your actions.

Some people will attempt to take advantage of your generosity.

Some people will be rude to you or complain about your good deeds to others.

There will be times when you feel inadequate to make a difference when the challenges are so great.

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Carousels go around and around, always ending up where they started.

Our kids used to love them, but after a while they got sick of the monotony and wanted to get off.

As with many things, the ride is fun for a while, until we realise that no progress is being made.

So, if this year looks a lot like last year (and the year before)… get off the carousel.

If you keep using the same excuses for not making progress towards your goals… get off the carousel.

If you have been in the same dead-end job, doing nothing meaningful with your unique skills… get off the carousel.

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There will come a day when I’m old and grey.

My back will be sore and my gait will be slower.

I’ll be less capable and my mind won’t be as sharp as it once was.

On that day, I’ll have a few moments up my sleeve to sit and ponder my life.

Will I be proud of my achievements?

Was I the best husband and father I could be?

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A young runner was very excited.

After months of intense training, he was running in his very first marathon.

After the starter’s gun went off, he started with great enthusiasm, taking great strides and building a strong rhythm.

However, after a few miles, he began to tire and he felt like stopping.

“Don’t stop!  If you can’t run, at least you can jog,” said a small voice in his head.

So, he slowed to a jog and was able to continue along the road, if a little slower than before.

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A majestic Hawksbill Sea Turtle (photo via Wikipedia)

A majestic Hawksbill Sea Turtle (photo via Wikipedia)

Entrepreneur and prominent environmentalist, Sir Richard Branson, recently shared a story on his site about Gumption, a local businessman and turtle advocate from the British Virgin Islands.

One day, when he was coming in from a tour, Gumption noticed that a fisherman had caught a beautiful hawksbill sea turtle.

Without hesitating, Gumption purchased the turtle (which was otherwise destined for someone’s soup bowl) for $50 and released it back into the sea.

It may only be one turtle that he was saving, but Gumption had reckoned that this one turtle has the opportunity to lay hundreds of eggs over the course of its life, possibly making it a key contributor to the saving of this critically endangered and remarkable species.

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You’re an army of one.

It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s enough.

You have more power than you thought possible.

You can make a massive difference in the world.

You can fight the good fight.

You’re responsible for your own actions.

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