Nothing good has ever come about without at least one leader showing the ability and the will to get up off the canvas and fight on. I’m tempted to go on and on using boxing analogies but I might bore you to tears if you’re not a fan of boxing.
On Sunday before the Seahawks game I had the pleasure of meeting 12th Man flag raiser Lt. Buck Compton, the war hero about whom the television series “Band of Brothers,” is based. Buck is in his 90s now but still has a twinkle in his eye and an optimistic attitude about his life and his country.
Buck lived a life that would make “Forrest Gump” look like a boring character. He grew up in southern California where he quickly developed into a very good baseball and football player at the high school level.
He grew up quickly mostly due to his father’s suicide in July 1933 when Buck was just a teenager.
In his book “Call of Duty,’ published in May of 2008 Lt. Compton tells the story of his life. After his father’s death Buck went on to succeed at UCLA as a football player, seeing action in the 1943 Rose Bowl game against Georgia.
After college Buck did what every other healthy American did, he joined the service and on June 6, 1944 was one of the first member of the 101st Airborne to parachute onto the beaches of Normandy.
He helped liberate Holland, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, served in the military with baseball great Jackie Robinson and played college football with Hall of Famer Bob Waterfield. Upon graduation Buck went to law school and in the 1970s as a prosecutor for Los Angeles County helped convict Sirhan Sirhan of the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
That’s all I’m going to share here, I want you to read the book, it’s well worth it. My whole point of this story is that Buck Compton was just a normal red blooded American boy who did extraordinary things in his life because he was optimistic and never gave up.
Buck never let anyone pop his balloon and many tried over the years. In our everyday lives we struggle to remain positive about everything from the economy to our jobs to our families to our health. The last thing we need is a person or a situation with a pin ready to pop our balloon, but the reality is the pin carriers are out there ready to pop and we have to be ready.
The best way to be ready is to always look at the bright side of every situation. Seek out the potential in every single thing you see and do during the day. Is it easy? Of course not, if it were easy everyone would do it. It’s difficult but when you succeed you fortify yourself against those negative forces that serve to run you down and stop your progress.
Hang in there, protect that balloon and just for good measure keep a pocket full of new ones in case someone does get to you with a pin.