Posts Tagged ‘Texas Trucking Association

16
Aug
13

a good man

The chairman capped-off his year as our leader last week by suggesting something during his membership address that was rather poignant.  I bring it up, not because it bears repeating, but rather it should be swallowed whole and digested slowly.  You see the Texas Trucking Association closed the largest annual gathering of it’s membership last Thursday night.  Thus bringing to an end what is virtually a whole week of educational, inspirational and social programming.  And trust me, it is exhausting for both staff and attendees alike.  But Chairman Richard Minnix not only took the liberty during his farewell to remind us of that fact, but pointed out that in addition – it’s just as taxing on those left to mind the stables back home at the ranch.  In that one same breath he also reminded us of how a vibrant community of peers can recharge one’s soul just when it needs it most.  Funny how your friends have a way of doing that.
You see he’s absolutely right.  The daily grind can be exhausting to the point that we often lose perspective and even get cranky with those we love and respect the most – through no fault of their own.   We’ve all done it.  However – that brand of exhaustion, plus a new one can equal rejuvenation?  Well, yes actually it sure can.  Chairman Minnix points out that it is so infectious, that he himself has returned to the annual conference 18 straight years with his lovely wife Xan and his son Chase to ensure it’s an elixir he doesn’t do without.  Sometimes it may just simply be the reminder that we are not alone in our mutual struggles, just when we feel they are ours alone to bear.
Guest speaker Aaron Thomas, the Athletic and Student Services Director from a small high school in Parkersburg, Iowa described it best when sharing his inspirational story with attendees on Wednesday.  He gave us all an unforgettable account of his own community’s tragic struggle with adversity, first in rebuilding after the devastating direct strike of a EF-5 tornado on his hometown with a population of 2,000.
Yet far more devastating was the loss of the leader who motivated the entire community to rebuild in time for the start of the high school football season that fall – just some 100 days later.  Parkersburg, Iowa USA ceased becoming a town and was reborn a community in that moment.  And from it emerged a true leader who had already distinguished himself by the name of Coach Ed Thomas – Aaron’s father.  Coach Thomas was murdered a short time later by a former player with diagnosed mental issues. Their struggle earned the family the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage presented at the 2010 ESPN ESPY Awards.  Image
Aaron shared his story of this incredibly selfless journey, while capturing our spirits by describing to us all that his father did not have a job – he had a passion.  And he fed that passion every minute of every day as a coach and athletic director who simply loved each and every one of his students.  Never did he measure success in wins or losses but instead it was with an inspiration that only leaders who mentor can awaken.  Whether you were a four-year letterman or a 95 pound freshman tackling dummy, Coach Thomas treated all with the respect and dignity they deserved and all in the order that they came to him in.  No one was preferential – all are individually special.
That perhaps gets lost far too often in this fast-pace world.  Ever the more reason to stop and recharge as Chairman Minnix suggests.  Or as I often share – soar high periodically and hover.  Just see for yourself what it is you have created below for exactly what it is.  Aaron Thomas focuses on where you spend your time and money.  Words are what we share and often times those come at no cost – and others times at the greatest of costs.  But our time and money?  Invite yourselves to recharge and re-evaluate as often as you can afford to.  Look around when you get home tonight, I would suggest to you what you see and feel is an investment you cannot afford to pass up on.  If Coach Ed Thomas were alive today I think he would agree.  Actually, I met his son – I know for a fact he does.



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