Wise Words from one of our Veterans
November is a month we celebrate the beauty of fall and our thankfulness of what we have in our lives. For me, I think of these things as well as how proud I feel on Veterans Day.
Being a Navy veteran, I understand the sacrifices, challenges and rewards that come with the service. My military accomplishments did not make me fully successful, however, they did start me in the right direction.
I was raised with the belief that you only get out of something as much as you put in, so I strived harder to be the best I could to receive the rewards from my actions. Joining the military was a scary moment in my life, and not knowing what was ahead of me was one of my biggest challenges, but I knew that I would need to face that challenge with everything I had – both physically and mentally.
Throughout my military career, I pushed myself to learn as much as possible, be a positive influence to others, and be successful in my field. After the military, I gained enough self-respect, ambition and courage to excel further in my professional life through great work experiences and higher education to place me in a position that I love and am very proud of.
In his book I Dare You!, [by Nestlé Purina’s Founder] William H. Danforth reflects on the words of H.G. Wells, in which Wells describes the true success of man as, “Wealth, notoriety, place, and power are no measure of success whatever. The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the thing we have made of ourselves on the other.” Mr. Danforth challenges and dares us to be our best and step out of our self-restricting shells.
Mr. Danforth goes onto say, “I want you to start a crusade in your life – to dare to be you best. I maintain that you are a better, more capable person than you have demonstrated so far. The only reason you are not the person you should be is you don’t dare to be. Once you dare, once you stop drifting with the crowd and face life courageously, life takes on a new significance. New forces take shape within you. New powers harness themselves for your service.”
These words from Mr. Danforth so many years ago still hold true today, and I dare each of you to push yourself toward a goal that seems daunting and sometimes unreachable and measure your own success once you do reach them.