My brother is a doctor, a resident actually who is training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. Well, he lives in a small apartment in downtown Chicago and he does not have a car. For Christmas my parents and I went over to Chicago to spend it with him. My story begins here. One morning, my dad, my brother and I got out to buy some shoes for me. I needed some new shoes, and so since he does not have a car, we have to walk to the shoe store. Anyway, first we went to one store but I found nothing there I liked so we had to walk to another store. There’s hardly any parking in downtown Chicago. Well, anyway I found the shoes I liked at the Puma store. They were some shiny new sneakers, very good shoes. Anyway, after that we had to walk back to my brother’s place to drop them off at his apartment. Then my brother, my dad and I decide to go out for lunch. We asked my mom to come, but she said she was tired. So anyway, we walk over to Giordano’s Pizzeria which is famous for Chicago deep dish pizza. We got a seat, ordered our food and we had to wait like forty five minutes, because if you’ve never had it, let me tell you that Chicago deep dish is some serious stuff. You can’t cook that crust in ten minutes. Apparently it takes forty five minutes. Well, that’s what we were told. Anyway, the place was busy and lively and we were having a pretty good time. Then our pizza came, which is astonishing to look at, by the way. The slices are so thick, and it’s all mozzarella. I bet you could get full on just one slice. You can’t really pick those slices up. I had to use a fork and a knife most of the time. I ate one slice, and then I went in for the second one, and let me tell you it was not easy, but I did it. Slowly but surely, I managed to eat two full slices and I was stuffed to the brim by that time. We got up to go and we walked outside, and I was feeling rather tired by that point. We had spent the whole day out and I wanted to go back home and rest. At that point my brother and dad tell me that now we were going grocery shopping. I was tired and my body was aching.
So we go over to the grocery store and do a full size shopping. All the while, I am thinking: how in the world are we going to carry all this stuff back to the apartment. I was feeling tired, and well to be honest with you, my body was aching all over. Well, anyway we did our shopping, paid for our groceries and divided the bags up. My brother and my dad carried two bags each. And I was given one bag to carry. And I thought to myself: how am I going to carry this heavy bag all the way back home. My body’s aching and I have got no energy left. Well, I didn’t say anything to my brother or my dad because they had their hands full. They were carrying two bags each.
So then we start walking, with me feeling fatigued and completely out of sorts, and still not sure how I would walk all the way back home. But then something really strange happened. Instead of the bag on my hand weighing me down, it kept me strong. This is true. All the way home on that walk I kept repeating to myself: the weight kept me strong. How? You may ask. Well, what happened is that the weight of the bag, took attention away from my body which was aching and concentrated it all on objective, all one goal: carrying that bag. And because it was my responsibility to carry that bag home, I found the strength to meet that responsibility. Not only that, but this strength was powerful enough to overcome the aches and pains I had in my body and it me feel better about myself. Later I had to go home and rest of course.
My challenge to you is for you to find a weight that keeps you strong. Remember it has to have purpose. If it’s dead weight, it’s of no use, no purpose. Let go, and find something that keeps you strong. Good luck and keep going!
(excerpted from my speech Good Luck!)