This is a guest post by David Bonifacio. I am constantly amazed at how David balances all the things that he has on his plate. But companies and job titles aside, I know this to be consistently true: he is a gifted writer and artist, and he composes music, too. He’s one of my favorite bloggers, so I’m grateful that he gamely agreed to write a guest post for this blog while I’m offline. This post is classic David: it’ll reel you in and make you think. I’m glad to share it with you:
Most of the people who know me know that I spend my Saturday mornings at the Real LIFE Foundation’s feeding program where we feed and play games with kids every week at our eco-friendly facility in Pasig. Despite usually having only 3 staff members there, Real LIFE is able to pull this off with a lot of help from volunteers and the LIFE Scholars, young men and women of leadership, integrity, faith, and excellence whose educations are sponsored by Real LIFE.
While at I was at last Saturday’s feeding, I was talking with one of the LIFE Scholars when, while talking about how much we both loved kids, he asked me a question from my personal FAQ (frequently asked questions):
Scholar: Planning to have some of your own soon?
Me (sidestepping the question): You? Haha!
Scholar: I never want to have any.
Me: You don’t? But you’re good with kids.
Scholar: I’ve thought about it, and I don’t want my children to experience what happened to me because of my dad. I don’t want to make them go through what my dad made me go through.
When I heard him say this I really felt something inside drop, not so much because he didn’t want to have kids, but more because of his reason: “I don’t want my children to experience what happened to me because of my dad. I don’t want to make them go through what my dad made me go through.” Here was this wonderful young man, smart, hardworking, determined, can run 5k in 15 minutes (that’s fast by the way), telling me that his reason for not wanting to have children was his fear of following in his father’s footsteps.
And many of us have similar fears.
Fears that we’ll become like our predecessors.
Fears that we won’t.
Fears that we’ll make the same mistakes.
Fears that we won’t reach the same heights.
Fears of never being able to break the limitations they’ve lived with and passed on to you.
Fears that we will drop the baton when it’s our turn.
We have our own versions that have trapped us Never-land–not the one from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, but a lie cooked-up in hell–that we will never fulfill a dream because it’s too big, that we will never make a wish since it won’t come true anyway, or that we will never break through because no one has.
But as I said, that’s a lie–a lie that has no power over us unless we let it capture our hearts and minds.
So let me tell you the truth, and this is what I told my young friend earlier: Never say never. Because the things we call impossible today will be reality tomorrow, just like the things once declared impossible. Here are some examples:
- “Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value.” — The Boston Post, 1865
- “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidised item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.” — Steve Ballmer, USA Today, 2007
- “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” –Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
- “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” –New York Times, 1936.
- “We will never make a 32-bit operating system.” — Bill Gates, speaking at the launch of MSX in 1983
These statements seem dumb today but these were made by respected experts who knew what they were talking about–or so they thought.
Sometimes the world seems like an impossible place to realize the dreams and imaginations of our hearts and minds, but never say never. Never say you’ll never make it, because you don’t know what breakthrough is waiting for you. Never say you’ll never be successful; you don’t know what great thing has been prepared for you to achieve. Just because no one can see it, doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Just because you don’t know, doesn’t mean you won’t discover. And just because you never have, doesn’t mean you never will.
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David Bonifacio is the president of Issho Genki International and founder of naturalhealth.ph. When he’s not working he spends his time serving with Habitat for Humanity, Real LIFE Foundation, and the Center for Community Transformation. You can read more of his work at davidbonifacio.blogspot.com and thoughtsofalostboy.blogspot.com.
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If you liked this, you might be interested in these related posts:
- Practicing Leadership, Integrity, Faith, and Excellence at Work
- What you need to know about living a great story
- On waiting…